Hmmm. Does that mean time stretches when it's warm out and contracts when it's cold? Ha! Imagine a pompous investor (but without the humility of a philanthropist) trying to pull that one over our fave snarky astrophysicist, MRM, PhD, PhD, etc.

Well, my birthday is stretching ever so long (not that I'm complaining; it's simply an observation). Today it was Brian's turn to share in the festivities. He also brought the new protective coating and military-force case for Niebieski Motylek ("Little Blue Butterfly" in Polish, "Little Blue" abbreviated), my newly named iPad who joins his big sister Liblikas. Oh, what a relief to have a proper case.

He even brought me organic strawberries ... and an honest-to-goodness birthday card. Now I'm really impressed, because it seems everybody has stopped giving (especially mailing) greeting cards. Everything is electronic these days. So it was a lovely gesture to receive something tangible that can actually be displayed on my dining table, along with the tulips.

After fiddling around with both computers, we finally left to drive to the Indian restaurant. We were determined to eat two orders of Tandoori Shrimp. We did. Along with a Papadum, Plain Naan (I'm on duty tomorrow), Sautéed Scallops (unexpectedly served in a strange but tasty sauce), and Chicken Biryani that came with Raita. Also, a Gin'n'Tonic each. Nom. We may have slightly overestimated how much we could eat, but we've done that before. So I ended up with lots of leftovers to keep me company at home.

Once I was home, I collapsed. I'd had tears in my eyes from some of the spices, and now I was sweating. Oh, well, it's good for the body.

After watching the news and my game show repeats, I returned to reading "The Martian" with Little Blue propped up on my torso as I was lying in bed. Even though the case feels very heavy, and the lid isn't quite in the right position, it still made a huge difference in my ability to pretend-hold it. I was only touching it barely, to keep it stable. My poor hands are so grateful. As a result, I finally managed to finish my second read-through of the book. Yay.

Now I'd better think of sleep and church and wearing nice things. Well, almost all nice things. If it's raining, I'll have to wear more practical footwear. ::still crosses fingers for nice weather::
helenkacan: (Default)
( Apr. 23rd, 2017 11:40 pm)
It's been a very long day, with highs and lows (also weirdness during the night). I'd plugged in my old cellphone/alarm clock in the bathroom to get an extra charge last night. I still went to bed and thought I'd just rest with the kids' channel on. Ha! As if. I dozed off. When I woke up, I turned off the TV as well as the lights. Blondie! Wake up. You forgot something. I did wake up in the middle of the night and remembered. Oops. Retrieved the cellphone, but couldn't find my gloves. Still I managed to fall asleep instantly, waking up at 5:45 as required.

It was a little cool but very sunny, so I took a chance on my outfit. Took a chance on how I was feeling as my tum was under the weather, but it settled down once I was picked up. Brent gave a very powerful yet disturbing sermon about intolerance and superficial image requirements in order to be accepted; the fact that the majority of LGBTQ people meet online rather than face-to-face; and that such reliance on tech to meet someone means that 99% of people will face rejection day after day via impersonal apps. He asked that we rise to embody the second word in our formal name. Yeah ... community. I couldn't believe that the service went about 40 minutes(!) over. Luckily, I had a late ride home at 12:50, so I wasn't concerned.

I've asked church-John to get me a pretend pillow-top mattress pad. My old bones just can't take the bed I'm sleeping in. I'm also pondering chairs. Brian gave me a link last night to what he considers an exceptional office chair. Considering the price, I'm not surprised. C-J OTOH was telling me about the current sale at Staples. Gee, only 50% of the cost of the luxury model. ::shakes head sadly:: Whoa, Nellie. Before I look at any chairs, I should try the simple thing ... such as asking the manufacturer to replace the broken caster. Like ... duh.

Spoke with the jeweller about how the assembly of my new piece is coming along and my hope to have it before the beginning of June. Coincidentally, today I wore a brooch M had given me, after allowing it to be purified through the filter of time. I completed the look with my chandelier citrine earrings.

When I got home, naturally I was engrossed in writing my review. I was also hungry, anxious to have my Greek dinner with SuM. Finally the day crept by and we tried valiantly to eat all of the food. No luck. We have leftovers. Yay. I'd also contributed a bottle of rosé (half a bottle remaining). What else? Well, it was the crucial Game 6 between the Caps and Leafs. The only station playing it had commentary in ... Italian! I said goodnigiht at the end of the second period. In any case, the game went into OT and the Leafs bowed out. To get as far as they did, and to go through so many OT games was very demanding physically and mentally. Bravo, boys.

Anyway, I'm fading quickly. Time to take my pills and then zonk out. I want NO repeat of last night's hijinks!
Say what? Pages to read?? You, blondie???

Yes, moi. "Historic" blonde hair and all. But, first, the rest of my day.

I was mortified to wake up at 5:13 (as the alarm was set for an already spooky 5:45). But I obliged my weird body by getting out of bed, only to use the unexpected time wisely (check for the pod under the bed, please) to take down the second tree and remove most of the other decorations. Blondie, I'm proud of you ... uh ... me. The only things left were the plugs (too tangled up for me to see) and the greenery hanging from the brass wreath holder. Once I'd removed the adorable mini plush animals from the gold sleigh, I gave them a new home in the top tier of my fruit stand. After that, I found another black turtleneck to wear underneath a very tight slinky black top: the trapped air kept me very warm. I added my tropical chiffon scarf to warm up my look. And, then, I had brekkie!

It wasn't as cold out as it had been yesterday, but the sky was filled with clouds. Still, I was happy to be outdoors, even with only street shoes. Arrived at church at 9:15 and was thrilled to see my special mum arrive. Why? Well, March is her birth month and we were celebrating birthdays and anniversaries today. She'll be turnig 89! Then the rest of my friends showed up. I greeted Brent between services to congratulate him on his latest honour. When church-John showed up, he treated me to another mocha. OMG, do I ever need that today!

The service was ethereal. We have an Irish singer whose voice and demeanour give me shivers. She is angelic. We had so much glorious music filling the Sanctuary just as the unexpected sun poured in through the south windows. Brent's lesson was about taking risks and sacrificing in order to move toward the unknown. He cautioned us to be open to whoever would be the next senior pastor. It was a very emotional service for me but I couldn't stay to share my reactions because I had to catch my cab home.

When I got in, I had a few minutes to post a check-in on FB with an explanation that my review would be delayed. The cause of my delay, namely my chosen baby brother Brian, showed up after 1:30 bearing many gifties. First of all, there were oodles of movies and TV shows (on DVD or Blu-Ray). Yippee! Which should I watch first? "Galaxy Quest" or-- or-- "Les Mis"??? And on and on. But the biggest question mark was the loan of his (cracked, old) mini iPad. Would I be able to see anything on it? He connected to the library and d/l'd "Brooklyn" - a library recommendation using my phone as a wi-fi hot spot. I don't want to use SuM's, as I'm already hogging it with the desktop! I asked for a strong, sans serif font in a light colour on a dark background. OMG. I can actually read words, even with the iPad resting on my boobs!!! I still have to become accustomed to swiping pages, but I am thrilled beyond words.

After Brian had accomplished the impossible ('cuz, really, I had not expected success), we drove off to the nearest Swish in totally unexpected blazing sun. It should have been mostly cloudy, but Brian said the sun came out just for us. ::beams:: I splurged on dinner for us, ordering a half litre of Sauvignon Blanc, the chicken spring roll appetizer, the special 2-for-1 dinner upgraded to include special bbq sauces, and dessert. Oh, nom. I saved my mini-doughnuts to bring home which is where we headed once the sun was beginning to slide closer to the horizon. When we got back, we were busy with a few more chores (I mentioned how I'd give the place a rest before hanging up a gorgeous floral rope along with the Ikea lights later in the spring) and excited talk of our joint birthday celebration. Hmmm. So, the plan is to have high tea. I shall have to investigate.

After Brian left, I watched the news, then put on the nature music channel and began to read my borrowed book. Page after page after page ... until I dozed off for a little while. So utterly relaxing.... But, wait. Blondie, don't you have something else hanging over your head? ::sighs:: Yes, I didn't write my Sunday review. I was just too mellow (read slightly tipsy from the wine) to concentrate on words. So I'll be doing that tomorrow ... whenever I wake up. No rush, body, no rush. ::giggles and gets ready to read a few more pages before sleep::
So, though I may have intended to go to sleep at a reasonable time, I ended up reading some very satisfying N.C.I.S. stories all the way to - eeeeek - 3:00 a.m. I'd also had another glass of eggnog with sprinkles. And, then, I slept all the way to a few minutes shy of noon. ::stretches sybaritically:: I feel fabulous!

Having slept so late, I was very slow to prepare my brekkie entrée when SuM visited me with (I swear it was) a quarter of the carrot cake. Oh, decisions, decisions. Brekkie or cake. Anyway, while she was here, I mentioned how I'd had eggnog last night; she admitted she'd had a bottle of beer. Hmm, apparently both are good soporifics. I asked about the exquisite chocolates, so she grabbed the box from the couch and read the descriptions. OMG, the range of flavours is mouth-watering. She'd been looking for a high-end chocolatier and was recc'd one at Dupont & Davenport (a chic designer enclave near my old neighbourhood). Like ... wow!

I spent the day in the company of Diva and Grumpy who really enjoyed sleeping in various configurations either on the couch, the bed, or the bed ledge. Silly (gorgeous, fluffy) cats. My evening returned to normalcy what with the evening news and my game shows. Anyway, I'm looking forward to finally cooking my chicken dish tomorrow. ::crosses fingers for the launch of my new electric skillet:: In the meantime, I'm munching on a very odd cinnamon scone. I have this vision of scones re size, taste and texture and I'm confused by ones from Cinnabon. How could a company that makes ooey gooey nutritionless desserts also offer these large lumps of dough that have the consistency of tea biscuits? Good thing there were only 6 in the box. Yuck. I'll try another one in a couple of days sliced in half with some butter.
So, to begin at the beginning, I went to bed at 1:11 and woke up at 5:49. Whaaaaa? Body, I don't have to get up early for church. Sheesh. But the body insisted, so I got up and sat on the couch. I opened the gift from SuM. It's a very good thing that I was on my best behaviour as I unwrapped the two items in tissue paper (including glitter) placed in a decorated gift box with a detachable lid. First there was this treasure box of something that could have been chocolates the shape and size of dice. But I couldn't read the booklet. Okay, I'll figure it out later. [Sum told me later they're chocolates from all over the world!] Then I unwrapped the bigger item and nearly SHRIEKED when I saw the Jeopardy! logo. It was one of those 365 page-a-day calendars, so I'm sure I'll learn fascinating things all year round. I just wish they'd make the calendars in a multi-ring format so we could just, uh, turn over the page instead of ripping it off. Still, I was tickled not only pink but plaid! I also looked through the gift bag from my meals providers. Uh-oh, I think the quilters' guild was trying to appeal to some more sedate clients with their choice of colours and patterns on the reversible linen table mat. Well, I'm sure I can use it in some more boring fashion, lol. Perhaps a potholder?

I managed to stay up until 9 and then felt an urge to sleep again. Only problem I needed to recharge my old phone acting as an alarm. I set it for 10:30. Imagine my shock when I woke up at - eeeeeeeeek - 11:18, meaning I'd missed the beginning of church (at 10:50). I clicked on the link and was at the middle of the sermon. Uh-oh. I watched and wrote my review. At the end of a beautiful service, all I could do was write a few words about the service, saying I'd write more when I was awake next. Like in a couple of days (because I'll have to wait most likely until Wednesday, Tuesday, if I'm lucky).

After "church", I finally had my brekkie. And then relaxed all afternoon long. So, even though SuM's ex and son were invited for tonight's dinner (after having had their traditional seafood Christmas Eve), SuM said they wouldn't be coming (and here she'd gone and bought a larger Prime Rib roast for which I smushed two recipes into one). So, it was going to be just the two of us. We joined forces and resources (I provided two small bottles of Jamaican ginger beer, a bottle of rosé, sea salt and rainbow peppercorn grinders, portobello mushrooms for the gravy, while SuM provided roast companion onions, potatoes, green beens, gravy, and a freshly-baked frosted carrot cake. We listened to the festive, relaxed Latino music channel. Turns out we also both love Bluegrass music, but there isn't a separate channel for that. Sigh.

Anyway, the meal began at 7:30 and ended at - was it - 10:00. Comfortably full and I'm sure I'll sleep well tonight. Plus I only had a sliver of cake, so I'll want a kitty bag tomorrow. I also snapped a Christmas cracker and ended up with a pretty snowflake and a red paper crown. Plus a groaner joke: Who was the first underwater spy? James Pond. Owwwwwwww. I also have another cracker for tomorrow. So, I may just have a glass of eggnog topped with my chocolate, sugar, and cinnamon sprinkles from my special grinder. And, then, beddy-byes for the very relaxed and rested Queen. Best decision I ever made to not go to church physically today. Nighty-night, all.
Which actually started last night as I found that Grumpy had snuck back in and spent the night on my couch. Awwwww, Buddy. You're such a sweet cat. Then, Diva snuck in this morning (probably around 7, though not sure) and draped herself over my head. Typical Diva. But I dozed on and didn't wake up until 8:18. Yes, yes, I'm up. ::yawns::

Managed to get my laundry done though cheated and used dry shampoo on my hair because I didn't want to get my hair wet.

Spent the day basically liking people's Christmas posts and made one of my own. I'd also sent a seasonal e-mail to my childhood pal Danny; she replied with her bit of news, too. So she has arthritis in her hands, too. And her "boys" are all grown up now: one with a kid, the other with ::giggles:: three cats.

When SuM came by in the afternoon with a prezzie and card for me, she also had mail for me. Okay, so it looks like a card, but just WHO would have mailed me a card? Then I saw the address and figured it out. Church-John had sent me one. Again with the awww. I thanked him by text and asked him to save a program for me from tonight's service. TV was a big bust, so I just watched repeats of my game shows.

In the evening, I had a mishmash (or multicultural) dinner. First I had lobster bisque to warm me up ('cuz I'd been so cold doing laundry while wrapped up in towels ::shivers::), followed by smoked salmon with gravlax mustard on my free promo Italian bread (that had an unusual sweet taste), all washed down by Vodka & Tonic! Tomorrow morning I plan to make scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and some black olives.

Okay, time for my painkillers and supplements. I'm all alone with no snuffling cat company, but I'll survive until tomorrow, lol. In the meantime, hope everyone is having a peaceful night.
Good: Sleeping in until 8:14, knowing I had lots of time in the morning.
Bad: Having to wait until - was it after - 1:00 p.m. to get my meals delivery.
Very good: Getting my Christmas gift bag from the meals provider with lots of goodies inside.
Indifferent: SuM was picking up her son and taking him out for chicken wings. She asked if I'd like to join them. As much as I love chicken wings, it wasn't enough of an inducement to have to actually put on warm clothing, etc. As it happened, they were out for ... hours.
Sad but nostalgic: I received an e-mail from Music Alumni inviting me to join a reunion band & choir concert, marking the 70th anniversary of the program from which I'd graduated. Oh, terrific /sarcasm. Wait until I'm old, have lost my voice and cannot stand. Is there a reason you couldn't have celebrated the 50th anniversary when I had a voice, etc.??? In any case, they're performing works by graduates of the Faculty. So ... pass.
Comforting: Having Diva keep me company (usual spot, above my head) while SuM was out.
Boring: Nothing on TV, so watched 20 recorded minutes of Peppa Pig.
Hopeful: To get back to writing my fic tomorrow. And wash my recycling plastics.
Warm and cozy: Spending time in bed luxuriating in the various textures of soft, fluffy, and plush (ha, I could also be describing Grumpy!).
Started off a lovely day by waking up at 7:07. Unfortunately - for some reason I can't fathom - I did NOT begin my tea ritual. I know, I'm confused, too. However, what was not confusing was seeing a text church-John had sent me last night which I hadn't read. He was off to his doctor (nothing serious, just a 5-minute annual EKG) at a hospital at the north-east end of the city (so, above me, basically) and wondered whether he could stop by to return my presumably now-working fireplace remote. Oh, yes, I replied in the morning, adding that I would really appreciate it if he could also drop in at the Canadian Tire near me to buy two things: bed risers, even though they're higher than I'd like; and a thin black rubber mat I'm going to cover the old microwave with before turning it into a base for the mini-fridge. He agreed. The only thing is that I had no idea when he'd be stopping by. I managed to wash my face but didn't get a chance to brush my teeth when he showed up shortly after 1.

He dropped off the desired goodies while we made sure the remote worked. Yay, it does. OTOH, I can't "light" any of my flameless pillar candles. Oh! You mean I need fresh batteries IN the candles, too? Sigh. He said he'd provide me with a bunch on Sunday, as well as the "gift" he keeps forgetting to put in the car, namely a bag of cedar shavings for me to hang in my closet to make it hostile to moths. Oh, yes, please! [I'll remind him on Saturday night!]

So, he likes the way I've configured my furniture. Good. I offered him tea, but he declined. Still, we sat on the couch, talking and laughing (with Diva purring like a motor as he stroked her fur) for a long time until he finally left around 2:30.

The rest of the day was a drag. I can feel it getting colder through the wall, so sitting in front of the computer is unpleasant unless I wrap my legs up in my fleece. Sigh. I've even decided I won't be taking my walker to my meeting tomorrow in order to avoid driving it down the driveway. Also, this way, I don't have to wear leggings underneath my wide pants. I'll just have to deal with the front steps-of-doom.

Anyway, I think it's time for my hot lemon drink as I'm trying to avert sinus and throat rebellion. Hoping for healing sleep, as always.
Pandemonium.
Hilarity.
Nostalgia.
Plans for fabulous regular future visits.
Amazing food.

Oh, how I've missed having weekly visits from my chosen baby brother. It used to be semi-easy when I lived midtown, though the traffic was always a downer. We had to stop for a while until I moved to the water ... and then I was on the way home for Brian. A couple of visits to the island every summer and a couple of restaurant extravaganzas in a year were so inadequate substitutes. So I was overjoyed when Brian emphatically stated that we were going to do stuff together again. Yippee!

Brian showed up after 12:30 bearing gifts, especially my new mini-mini-fridge. Once that was stowed away, we took off for shopping. I was thrilled we managed to find exactly the microwave I wanted as well as a new electric skillet. And-and-and I have a replacement snow globe (that's also a music box). After the shopping, we went on a culinary adventure to a recommended seafood restaurant to the east of me. We splurged on Oysters Rockefeller (4 each), Broiled Oysters (4 each), half a dozen east coast oysters each, with an encore performance of the ones we liked the most, lots of fresh warm buns to soak up all the sauces (especially the cheesy Rockefeller one), and a Long Island Iced Tea.

Several hours later, we rolled out of the place having bypassed rain and gusts of wind. Time to return home where Brian unpacked the appliances while I moved furniture, trying to make space. Sigh. Then he made games accessible on my computer and installed a really cute Solitaire game on my phone. For a while, all you could hear was the very pleasant tinkle of notes as we played side-by-side on the couch.

It felt too soon as he left me at 8:00. But we have plans for the week between Kissymas and New Year's Day (off to a famous Polish supermarket out west). OMG, I'll be able to satisfy lots of food memories from my childhood. We'd also talked about all sorts of other get-togethers. I'd also given him prezzies. As I mentioned, he goes to Disney and brings back Hollywoodish prezzies for me. I go to Niagara-on-the-Lake and bring back foodie prezzies for him. Can't wait to see what meat will be enhanced by the flavourful sauce. Yum.

Now it's not that late but I'm exhausted; still I don't want to go to sleep. But I need to. I'll be facing dismantling two huge cartons tomorrow on top of doing lots of laundry, especially as I stepped in several puddles. Yuck. Also trying to figure out how to cook my brekkie. Ooh, a challenge! Uh-oh. ::calls out into the distance:: "Briiiiiiian, I need you!"
Glurgh. What a night. Went to bed at 12:20. Woke up some time later. I thought it was a lot later, but it was only 2:55. I tossed and turned and simply could not sink back to sleep, so I reluctantly got out of bed at 3:30. I am going to be a zombie later today. Stayed on the computer for half an hour when I inadvertently triggered the login for the Remote Viewer (what Brian uses to GRAB control of Liblikas). Naturally, I thought he couldn't sleep either, so I texted him. Then, as I though my 'puter was off-limits to me, I crawled back into bed and - oh, so luckily - fell asleep quickly, not waking up until that rude alarm at 8:00.

Had a leisurely morning and a substantial brekkie. Good. Because of the vibrant colours of the glass exhibit, I wore my so-called "stained glass" top. Waited for church-John to arrive which he did around noon. Then we were off back to the centre of the city. He took the scenic route of the highway along the lake, then we drove up University Avenue. I got my first really close-up look at the "Cristal" addition to the Museum. Miraculously, we found a parking spot exactly across the street from the entrance. Free parking = Yay! I was also able to offer c-J free admission as he was acting as my support person and seeing eye-dog (hey, those were his words). In return, I suggested he could take me out for chicken dinner at Swish. We walked in at 12:45. There were very few people there and we really enjoyed the room and space to proceed at my preferred pace. I was just - excuse the play on words - blown away by the incredible artistry and giant imagination. John had to describe all the things I could see, but I still managed to absorb and appreciate a lot, especially the shapes and brilliant colours. Imagine my surprise to find we'd been there for TWO hours at which point my left knee just gave out. So we proceeded to the gift shop where I purchased a fridge magnet, a Blu-ray of a TV special on his work, wrapping paper based on his designs (which I'm going to frame to create art). Total, less than $75. Not bad, considering there were glass pieces with $6K price tags! Then we walked in reverse order back to the start of the exhibit to see one of our fave installations. After that, it was time to limp out and go to dinner. We ended up at the Swish near my neighbourhood. I chose coleslaw as my side dish and was served a mountain of it. I'm definitely going to be getting lots of certain vitamins. Then c-J got me home, mostly in one piece, and assisted me inside as it was raining and dark.

SuM gave me some bad news as soon as he left. Her mom died today, so she'll be leaving tomorrow morning, leaving the cats in my care. I think she's really relieved to have me here ... and I told her that - hey - I felt I had another new family, considering that I'm the cats' Auntie Helenka. I left her then because she got another of her endless phone calls.

Only really watched the news and then Jeopardy as I was really out of it. But, first, I had to send an apologetic e-mail to my sis RS who was not pleased that I'd gone to the Museum with c-J instead of with her. So I had to send her a list of logistical reasons why our getting together to do cultural events is not practical for me. But - hey - we can still do lunches and movies.

Anyway, I really, really, really, really, really need sleep NOW. Shutting down in 5,4,3,2.............
There were some amazing bits, such as wearing my thin jumper and capelet over trousers, fishnet knee-highs, and Mary Jane shoes (to protect against possible rain) during the first weekend of October, because it was just that warm. Even better, the sun broke through the clouds on the ride over so, when I arrived at 9:10, I sat outside basking in the heat. RS showed up after months of being absent, so Jan and I had a reunion with her, right out on the sidewalk. We can't wait to socialize over the Thanksgiving weekend. Jan also brought all the info I'll need to get connected to the health clinic. Woo-hoo.

Today is the day we honour emergency service providers during the service. The chief of police gave a short acknowledgment. However, the service went way overboard in length because of that and also an announcement about the search for Brent's replacement which I missed completely as I'd had to leave at the beginning of Communion (even though I was on duty) as my ride was imminent. A bad bit was seeing that it was raining, though not hard.

I managed to get home and indoors quickly. Had lunch first though, then tackled the review that was very difficult for once. Finished and posted to FB at 3:00. Then I could relax, play with the cats and meander through the web. SuM's ex showed up at 5:00 (only a day late) and SuM got in before 9:00. She brought me back a wee culinary souvenir, a jar of garlic mustard (not sure; I'll have to check when it's light out). Right now, I'm just feeling aggravated because stupid American football preempts the evening news. ::stomps wee hoof:: So. Not. Fair.

Anyway, I'd better toddle off to bed soon as I'll be waking up early to book my TG Monday ride to church. Asked Rev. Sam for a ride home and I got it. Hallelujah for small mercies. ::wanders off to bed::
So, the hot lemon drink definitely worked as I woke up (or ... uh ... continued to wake up during the night) with a clear throat and sinuses. So, blondie, what's the problem? Well, I gave up trying to sleep at 4:38 a.m. Arrgghh. Okay, find something on the computer to waste time. At least I had enough time to get ready for church at an even more leisurely pace. So, mostly win.

As a welcome bookend to yesterday's dreariness, I was greeted by the unique clarity of September sunshine. I arrived at church at 9:10 and sat outside greeting friends until 10:00. Several had attended the Talent Show last night and exclaimed their surprise at how many terrific performers we have. Hey, I knew that! Checked with my actor friend who usually sits with church-John and confirmed I can find more examples of his performances on YouTube. Considering he's the only reason I'm even watching Big Bang Theory, you can bet I really admire him.

Yesterday's baking contest, community meal and talent show were all a part of our Homecoming weekend (to be continued with a jazz vespers service in the afternoon). We also had an expanded music section (piano, cello, sax, drums, soprano recorder) with some stunning musical selections. The sacred readings were about the Prodigal Son and led to Brent's Lesson on being a welcoming people and church. As always, I'm in such a rush to leave after church - so I can write down my retained experience - but my ride was over 20 minutes late. Arrgghh. But I got home and toiled over the review, releasing it after a couple of hours. Speaking of my reviews in general, our newest pastor commented that my endeavours are being noticed around the entire denomination. Wow! When one person asked why only the 11:00 a.m. service (as well as her ordination) received the extra attention, she replied that I'm sorta, kinda embedded in the 11:00 a.m. service! Hee, I love-<3-love that concept!!!

When c-J had shown up at church, I retrieved my special parking permit (with a sigh of relief). He also brought me a huge carton of single-serving puréed fruit that he didn't care for. Considering how much trouble I have keeping fruit, especially during the summer (until I get those fridges), I'm happy to have a semi-processed supply. Brent had also given me a poke when he saw me, saying that I'd led c-J on quite an excursion. Hey, where I lead, c-J must follow. Yes, lol.

When I was done posting my review to FB, I collapsed in bed. Because of stupid football on both my regular channels, I didn't bother watching the news. Instead, I dozed off with cartoons in the background, having had only shortbread cookies for lunch. So, what did I have for supper? Vitamin supplements and the rest of my Perrier. Sigh. I just need more sleep to feel functional. ::crosses fingers for tonight::
Woke up a few minutes before the 9:00 a.m. alarm. And promptly got to work. It helped immensely to have all the lights on: overhead, the floor lamp next to the closet and the one by the bed, as I upended all of my clothing there. And about a thousand plastic bags. [Numbers can not be verified. Lol.] The strange thing is that there was hardly any dust on the floor. I guess the plastic bags protected it. Snorfle. Still, I vacuumed. Also dragged out my boots, shoes, and slippers. Plus two racks and a bunch of canvas hanging thingies church-John gave me a year ago. Finally, I'll get some use out of them.

I worked non-stop until 12:15, not even having had BREAKFAST yet. Told you I was determined. But I was really hot and needed to jump in the shower and then do a light load of laundry. Oops. I forgot to wash the capelet, so threw it in the dryer with fabric softener, on the air dry setting, so at least it'll smell a bit fresher. After brekkie, I returned to work, cataloguing every single item of clothing before hanging everything in a haphazard way. No point in trying to establish a system when I'm going to get professional help. As it was, when I found a second matching black satin nightgown, I wanted to hang it with its sister ... but couldn't find where it was hanging. Ugh. Blindness is the pits.

Decided to stop after 2:00 and watched some recorded TV for a couple of hours. After my evening shows, returned to some more cataloguing, this time of scarves, shawls, handbags and footwear (the latter two from memory, so I'll be confirming tomorrow morning when I have some sight again). Now, I can't believe I'm just sitting down to some instant noodles for - eek - lunch, at 11:30 p.m. But, then, I was so busy and engaged and focused, it's no wonder food took a back seat. Maybe I'll reward myself - tomorrow - with a treat. Look forward to rewarding myself tonight with a bout of healing sleep. Aaaaaaand that's a wrap.
Also wow! I had such a delightful Sunday. It wasn't too hot in the morning. I gave up on trying to curl my hair some more, so pulled the upper half into a ponytail which I then braided and pinned up with my stiff black bow pin. Wore my gorgeous new black dress topped with my capelet, along with my crystal and black long necklace and crystal chandelier earrings.

Arrived at church at 9:10. Much too early, but at least I had one friend to talk to. Then one of my older sisters (Steph) arrived with lots of wee gifties (chocolate, shower gel, etc.). Even though I was getting my 25-year pin (on our 43d anniversary), I wasn't forced to sit with most of the others. When Brent called my name (gee, he's almost got my name right, lol), I walked over with the help of my cane. One of our former choir stars was also using a cane and my pewmate's wife had transferred from a wheelchair to the other end of my pew. At least I had church-John next to me and our mutual friend Cory next to him. So, yay for friends. The medal design was lovely. Not too big (some years they were like Olympic medals) with a refined style (that obviously I would appreciate). Despite the celebrations, our response to grief swelled again as we found out about the latest news from Baton Rouge. It's becoming so that everyone is now not only reacting but retaliating - an utterly unsettling trend.

After the service, c-J and I didn't even bother going into the Social Hall (despite there being Anniversary cake); as my legs were killing me, not just from the walk to get my medal but also my being on duty for Anointing and Communion, so it was much easier to wobble down the concrete stairs at the back, right into c-J's parked car.

We arrived at the King Edward Hotel before 1 and were directed to the Royal Consort Bar, directly to the left off the lobby. It was a refined, long room, slightly reminiscent of a dining car from the turn of last century first-class train, with soft, gentle jazz in the background. We sat in padded tub-style wooden armchairs (very comfy). The food and drink were divine. I ordered a Royal Manhattan (Crown Royal Canadian rye, Martini Rossi vermouth, Angostura bitters) on the rocks, with a pierced cherry. Whoa, mama. Alcoholic bliss. For my entrée, I ordered Fetuccine with grilled Salmon. The noodles were atop an exquisitely herbed sauce filled with sweet tomato morsels, with the entire dish decorated with a fanciful herbal sculpture! I could have easily ordered a second plate, just to take it home with me. Okay, so no extra food, but I definitely had a second Royal Manhattan. Whee! After that, I ordered a seasonal Crème Brulée (garnished with fresh berries topped with a very thin sugar crust) and two Double Espressos that were served with sugar stir sticks and biscotti. Um ... can I have a nap in the corner, please? Alas, it was time to get me back home after a stop at the bank machine. No, I won't mention how much we spent. It was lavish but not outrageous. And I deserved to have a lovely meal in honour of myself.

I'd proposed the Niagara trip to c-J and he said he'd be delighted to be my seeing escort! Though I mentioned he couldn't bring his wee doggie, he said he'd ask Brent to look in on him during our absence. And he suggested I bring my new wheelchair instead of the walker, just in case I got really worn out. Okay, I'm convinced, lol.

Got home, still in a haze, around 3:30 and then had to actually still do my review of the church service. It was hours before the alcohol wore off, so naturally I had to text c-J to mention it. He's also agreed to try High Tea (we might try the Royal York for that). All sorts of good things to anticipate for the future makes me a very happy camper.

Had a very quiet rest of the day, though pleased the alcohol had helped with the pain in my legs. Wish I could really sleep in tomorrow, but - alas - I have my eye specialist appointment. So I'd better be a good cookie and do the bed thing. A very satisfied nighty-night to all.
... uh, make that appliances! But, not first thing this morning, as my alarm so very rudely woke me up at 6 in the middle of a vividly exciting dream. Sigh. But I had to book my rides to my eye specialist, so I did.

After that I got down to the ugly business of cleaning and defrosting my fridge. I hate-hate-hate this task. Even worse is throwing out food. Sigh again. Is it any wonder that I dream of a shiny, gleaming fridge (black to match some of the furniture)? Obviously, not. So I began moving furniture in my mind (my spacial skills are excellent) and, frankly, am stunned by the latest version! So, all I have to do is actually find a model on sale. Is it time to sigh again?

Had some frustration on the restaurant hunting front for next Sunday. I was seriously thinking of just asking church-John what his faves are and then choosing one. But he wanted ME to choose. Soooooo, first I thought of High Tea but I wasn't thrilled with the reviews I read. Also, it seems that some places really stuff as many people as possible into a room. Me. No. Like. So I returned to a place that intrigues me. C-J wanted to take me to the King Edward Hotel on my birthday for their extensive brunch. Originally, I thought the cost was outrageous; however, I've read more about the various "stations" and definitely want to have Beef Tenderloin (or was it Wellington?) and all sorts of other goodies. So, we're definitely going to do that later this year. However, for this Sunday, I've chosen The Consort Bar which serves slightly less outrageously priced dishes and wonderful drinks. The room is elegant but subdued with armchairs (yes!!!), rich carpets and chandeliers. Tomorrow, I shall inform c-J of my royal wishes, lol.

Tonight's TV featured yet another years' old epi of Castle. And, earlier in the day, I finally ate the chocolate wand Brian brought me from Hogwarts (er ... Disney). I'd actually asked him whether I could (lol, again). The old me would have never eaten it!

And, now, back to another online search for a black fridge. ::asks the universe for a sign::
Woo-hoo. I'm making new friends with the potential for lots of socializing. Though getting through the early morning was rough, as the cold (yes, I know, weird) woke me up early; but I decided to stay in bed until my alarm at 5:50. Decided to wear my new black dress over the shortened trousers, along with sandals, crystal jewellery, my hair in a mid-high pony with attached black bow clip. SO not looking my age, lol.

Arrived at 9:30, half an hour early. A bunch of us sat in the lobby until the room was ready. Meetings are always held in the same place, something rather crucial for visually impaired people. After I paid my membership fee, I joined a round table near the front. I'd also been tagged by a very enthusiastic woman who'd come to the west end meeting last year. After a bunch of speakers, mostly talking about all the summer activities, we had a guitar recital by a member whose guide dog lay by his feet. I especially liked the first number which sounded like bluegrass banjo (which I happen to love). When I went to talk to him, his dog licked my bare toes. Uh ... doggie, isn't that being unprofessional for a service animal?

After that, we were served a fabulous lunch by a whole bunch of volunteers, one of whom happened to recognize me from church. Hee! I stand out in a crowd. We had baby kale and potato salads, crudités (OMG including the freshest sugar snap peas and miniature peppers) with dip, cheese buns (didn't have), and a choice of small sammidges: roast beef, tuna salad, cheese, or ham (I chose the ham that had already been doctored with mayo & mustard). We'd been served tiny cinnamon bun bites and fruit punch earlier. I took a bottle of water and, later, for dessert, ignored the cake and chose a medley of fresh fruit (pineapple & a variety of melons). So, I was definitely well fed.

Which is why it was hilarious to have the instructor from a fitness-diet place that seemed geared to people with disabilities have us doing stuff right after we'd eaten. There were things I just couldn't do because of the arthritis and other directions confused my poor brain (hand actions vs stepping motions). The instructor gave us all a freebie, a shortish tension band which we used for a few exercises. She talked about classes forming at the institute which turned me off completely because I don't like group anything (except for performing in a choir or orchestra!). But I'm going to check into the option of private lessons where someone comes to my place. It's a good thing I already have weights because she couldn't emphasize strength training enough.

It was also mock comical to have her talk about eating after the lunch we'd had with the sugary offerings. I didn't know this, but current thinking is that even fresh fruit and definitely juices are a big no-no. Sigh. That makes me sad. At least I'm only drinking one glass of juice in the morning along with my daily supplements. And guess what: cola has an evil 10 spoons of sugar but ginger ale has only 6. [SuM and I broke up when I mentioned that later, because - if we'd drink ginger ale - we'd be all virtuous and stuff. SuM also suggested that we should just pour more bourbon in the glass!] I don't know whether I'd participate in the weight management classes (especially as she only talked about public ones which makes me go ugh), but I might check to see if there's a private option (even if it's only to talk about the fact that my meals are processed; mind you, they're all meant to be diabetic friendly). Another tip was to NEVER eat after 6:00 p.m. though even she had to recognize that wasn't realistic, so she amended it to 7:00 p.m. which would immerse the body in a REAL fast for nearly 12 hours. She also stressed the significance of getting enough sleep. Well, for most of the time, that is NOT a problem for me.

Anyway, time was running late, but the meeting finally ended and I dashed down the extremely long hall at 1:25. My ride arrived 5 minutes later and I was home at 2:00. Whew! A real whirlwind. In the evening, SuM and I had our movie night. We watched "Clouds of Sils Maria" (very strange film) starring Juliette Binoche. And had decadent Tiramisu and Jasmine tea. Sugar? What sugar? But I am going to cut back. ::pats self on shoulder::

Anyway, I'm still bubbling over at finding a terrific new group. I'm not the youngest person among a rather rowdy group of people. Now I just have to make a decision whether to go on a wine tour trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake. Naturally, there are logistical obstacles in my way. Sigh. Life, please uncomplicate yourself!
Buzz-buzz-buzz. Well, perhaps not a bee sound, but Peppa Pig's cute buzzing around in Grampa's garden. Oh, cartoons? Well, I'm so out of it, I'm trying to keep a firm hand on the reins.

Up at 6:30 and didn't grumble at all. Continued moving furniture. Tossed out the carton that had been the base of tree #1 and replaced it with the old TV stand. While I was at it, I added my colour-changing LED light strand to the clear ones to create what I'm calling my Pride tree. There's also room for one of my pretty quilted placemats, cast iron welcoming pig (hey, Teppy, she kinda looks like "Esther"), and rainbow candelabra though I'm sad there was no room for either the autoharp or drum, but they're nearby. As the TV stand plus TV height has nearly covered my scarf display, I removed the special hanger and put it on the front of the bathroom door. There are two scarves (thanks to Teppy) and one I received at least two decades ago from someone at church (just for being me!); also my brass rocking horse and painted foil Japanese fan. So far, I've been inching along in a mostly orderly fashion, so the last (and worst) cleanup will be of the closet. Still, I did remove the pretty fake flowers for the vase on my dining table (but still haven't located the gorgeous flower garland).

In the afternoon, I had to reset my signal box for the TV; even then I couldn't watch my recorded shows, so used SuM's TV instead. After that, it seemed my TV was back to normal, possibly with a clearer picture as I'd made sure the connections were secure. After my game shows, I watched MasterChef, then switched to the nature sounds channel. I've got glowing candles and soothing sounds to act as a substitute for the special Orlando service at the church tonight. Hope it went well (no webcast, alas). And I'm trying to order groceries on a totally revised website. Cue screams from ye blinde olde ladye. So I guess I'd better get back to it. Sigh.
Yup. My day did me in. Mind you, it was still such a delight to not have to agonize over my wardrobe this morning. So, instead, I spent a few minutes going through my old jewellery. Wore one of my gold and diamond rings (zigzag) with a citrine ring that ended up nesting in one of the zags along with chandelier citrine earrings.

Managed to stumble to church without my steadying influence aka the walker. Didn't bring any Perrier, so sent church-John a text asking him to pick me up an icecap. Did he? No, of course not. He never looks at his texts in the morning. Sigh. Decided to have my piece of cake during the first service, avoiding the busy lineup after the second.

The service was - yes, you guessed it - fabulous. Our choir director shared her story on Cancer Survivors' Day, but was so eloquent in attributing so much of her personal happiness and stability to actually having had the disease. While c-J and Ashley were busy volunteering after church, I announced my b-day from the stage along with many others. I said I was cruising contentedly along (oh, blondie, you're SO clever) Route 66! A man standing behind me said he does hair and would be pleased to do mine. I got his card. When Ashley and c-J were done by 1, Ash excused herself from brunch because of a headache. While c-J and I were still in the social hall, we were approached and someone offered me a first-rate manual wheelchair. It doesn't even look as if it had been used. Naturally, I jumped at the opportunity. Hee! Now I'm a real member of the Holy Rollers.

C-J managed to get the chair into his trunk and then we were off to brunch at Café California, my traditional b-day brunch place. For a change, we both had brekkie. John had Eggs Benedict while I had Steak'n'Eggs. We also split a huge jug of red wine sangria from which I gobbled all the fruit. No scurvy on me, mate! We spent a most enjoyable two hours engaged in outrageous discussion and boisterous laughter. I'm even reconsidering going to the fancy hotel for Sunday brunch. I'll be seated in my wheelchair as if on a throne (yes? do you have a counter-argument?) while he fetches me whatever I want.

Had a wee talk with SuM when I got in. She'd woken up an hour earlier today because of the closed highways. And, then, I lurched into my space, feeling totally wiped. I was amused to receive a special request from one of the deacons at church to help add zing and punch to several FB promo articles for the church. Yeah, sure. Why not. After all, my brain works fine (weird, but fine). It's my ankles that need to be turned into "human" materials.

Managed to stay awake just long enough to watch tonight's MasterChef Canada. And, now, I go beddy-bye-byeeeeeeeeeeeee.
It was definitely a different kind of Sunday. We're turning over the high profile webcast service in the morning every two weeks for highlight special worship teams in our church. Today it was the Spanish speaking group Hola. In two weeks' time, it'll be Blacks in Praise and the Sunday before Pride will have our Young Adult group. Luckily, all of these changes are happening on Sundays when I'm not on duty. Whew.

Luckily, the cats behaved last night so I got in a good sleep. Our weather has been outrageously silly. It's like mid July right now, but in one week's time, we'll be under the seasonal norms. But, hey, it wasn't raining on me. Hung out with friends when I got to church. Didn't know what to think of the music at the end of the first service. But I was still pleased by what had been done with about a 60% immersion in Spanish. We had four speakers sharing their stories, two from Mexico, one from Colombia and the last one, from Spain, married to our newest Pastor. Because I was seeing even less than usual, I basically kept my eyes closed for the entire service and just listened.

Good thing my good mood didn't dissipate after the service, even though my ride didn't show up. I called about 40 minutes after the expected pickup time and found out that driver was in lots of trouble, because he'd already let down a whole retinue of customers. Sigh. And here I'd been happy to be getting a comfy minivan instead of a pretzel-creating cab. I finally got home. The cats were disinclined to take advantage of an open-door policy to the back deck. It was just too hot and sunny.

SuM got back late afternoon. After the house calmed down, she visited me with a giftie because of the extra care involved in the cats' feeding schedule. Yay - I have another pretty caddy holding a shower gel and matching body lotion. Funny thing is that I go through the gels like water but don't use the lotions at all because the only dry parts of my body are my feet and hands and mostly in the winter. Still, it was a sweet gesture.

Ended up finishing watching the X Company series and also tonight's epi of MasterChef Canada. Glanced at the defrosted lamb in the fridge and have decided to begin marinating it tomorrow morning (for 24 hours). Patience, blondie, patience. At least I got to satisfy some of my cravings with whiskey-apple bacon slices on a warm bagel. Nom, indeed.
Well, that's what our Music Director was playing just before the service began. We do have quirky people at church. But, then, if we didn't, I wouldn't be there! I had to deal with a really pesky driver who was leaning on the doorbell at 8:48. What a maroon. But I didn't mind arriving at church at 9:15 and sitting outside for 45 minutes, eventually being joined by Jan as we greeted people whether passing by or coming in. It was another amazing service. This time one special feature was having the new, openly lesbian Moderator of the United Church of Canada preach. She had a terrific, down-home folksy way of speaking and was so engaging as she talked about Moses and Peter and ... us ordinary folk. Something else totally outrageous was hearing the Music Director (as well as my fave Cellist) playing all the wrong notes in the Sunday Commercial for the upcoming MCC's Got Talent show. Loved it! Am almost (I wrote "almost") considering taking part in it, not as a singer as some would hope (though I actually did sing a little today) but as a storyteller, especially if my story involves pigs. I'll have to give it some thought.

Didn't have much time to hang out with my sis RS after the service (like 5 minutes) because I was picked up ahead of schedule by my cab. OTOH, that meant I could get home and do my review. SuM had not only left the back door unlocked, it was actually open. I had to tell her how I'd nearly stumbled over the breadbox Diva who'd been basking in a patch of sunshine in the kitchen when I'd departed in the morning.

Managed to do a quick review of the service (easy when I'm inspired) as I ate the hash brown brekkie church-John had forgetfully brought for Ash, even though she's out of town today. Hey, her loss is my gain. I'd also talked with him about being my ride home after my dental appointments. He's okay with that. Bless him. I was also stunned to receive a gift from Uncle Ernie, a book. He has changed a lot lately, for which I'm grateful.

Was very sleepy again in the evening and slept through half of MasterChef Canada. SuM only caught the last 5 minutes, too. At least I recorded it so I can rewatch it, even though I'm still not feeling a connection to any of the contestants.

Glad to be hitting bed soon. And, tomorrow, I'm finally going to call the dentist. Should be an interesting conversation. Wonder how good their archived files are.
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