But I was especially thrilled to sleep in all the way to 9:26 (after going to bed minutes before midnight). In a house with a grumpy "Grumpy" cat, even. A blessing, indeed.

Was busy reading both my Trek eBook and SGA fanfic on the desktop. And I got another load of laundry done. Always makes me feel so virtuous and it even smells and feels good.

Tried yet a different water today, San Benedetto. Hmm. Still thinking about it, but it's quite possible that I may be a Perrier loyalist no matter what. Also gorged on fresh apricots as I noticed they were beginning to spoil (after only two days). Boo to impulsive fruit.

Was surprised to receive a "how are you" e-mail from one of the more sociable people in my old blind group. She had two more eye surgeries this year, so I guess I'll learn all about them at our meeting in September. Anyway, I'm headed back to bed and my Trek book. Library deadlines are a pain.
So I woke up around 6:30. I had no idea why. I read stuff off my phone and then got on my computer an hour later. Ah. Everything is revealed. That wascawy baby bro of mine sent me an e-mail then ... and obviously I sensed it through secret woo-woo ways. He gave me the times we should meet for our boat tour next Monday so I could book my rides. And I did. ::beams:: I love it when plans come together.

I, however, had no plans for the official holiday (when most people get the day off). So I poured myself back into bed around noon and slept for a few hours. Felt much better after that.

Apparently, my ideas are so appealing that other people go ahead and copy me. In this case, SuM and gf are thinking of taking the boat tour TOMORROW, before I've even been. Why, the noive! I jokingly told her that'd be the last time I ever give her any ideas, lol.

Watched my customary TV shows in the evening. And then vegged. So I think I'll read for a while, TTFN.
I'm talking about Frits, a delightful Dutch man whose role in my chosen family was dear friend first - before he assumed the ceremonial role as one of my wedding attendants, acting as father-in-law. He had a quirky sense of humour (well, he'd have to, natch, being MY friend) and found all sorts of unusual piggy treasures to give to me. I'm relieved that I still have a couple of very small pieces that survived the gruesome downsizing. Dear Frits, may your spirit be encapsulated in a bright star that will shine down upon me with a familiar twinkle.

So, how did I find out? Our mutual friend (who is my jeweller) posted on FB that he was in a coma; he later added a post to say that he was no longer with us. The wonderful thing is that I had no idea I'd probably seen Frits in the late 70s when I used to go with a friend (after he got off from work at midnight) to the hoity-toity bar/restaurant nearby for some oysters and as many drinks as we could until last call. Speaking of oysters, back then, in a restaurant, they were $0.60/each or $7.20 a dozen. Cheap-cheap-cheap. And how was our mutual friend connected? Frits was the manager and hired him, first in a joe job until he was promoted to be a waiter. Small world, huh.

Just as well that I had no plans for the day. Luckily, the cats allowed me to sleep in. Diva was to the left of my head (I presume my head was too hot for her) and Ce-Ce was on the ledge near the foot of my bed. Grumpy was ... somewhere. SuM and her gf came back in the early afternoon, then took off again to the beach where they intended to watch the fireworks tonight. With the extra special holiday, there are fireworks happening in many, many places in TO. Hey, just let me get to sleep after midnight.

Watched my usual TV shows in the evening and then finished rereading just the prologue and epilogue of my Sherlock Holmes (Phantom of the Opera) book. Now I get to reread "Rogue One" to try to get accustomed to the characters' names. So, it's almost time to say goodnight. Well, after one (self-made) obligation.
... better than NO holiday celebration at all. But, first, the rest of my silly day.

Went to bed at 2:22 (slightly naughty) and woke up at 10:02. Hey, nearly 8 hours. Yay. Didn't have brekkie until around 11:30. Then continued reading (and finished) "Murden on the QE2", another pretend Jessica Fletcher mystery while I had my fireplace (lights only) on for ambiance. Then I dozed off which meant I was late feeding the cats their lunches. But, first, I had to find the little monsters. Well, not Diva. Grumpy was on the back deck and came in. But Ce-Ce was missing. After I fed the two, I took a chance and opened the front door. Oh, look who's meowing, wanting to come in. So I fed her. While I was supervising the chaos, SuM came home unexpectedly early and we finalized our dinner plans.

We finally got together close to 7. She baked my whiskey-mustard chicken wings and got wine glasses for my bottle of rosé. She'd cooked up some broccoli, snow peas, and scallions with lemongrass paste, ginger, and garlic. And then we dug in. We polished off the wine and I have a few chicken wings as leftovers. Then we took a break in the living room, watching the cold open of the last SNL featuring Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah"> OMG, so well done. I'd already watched the rest of the epi, considering it forgettable, but SuM wants to watch it 'cuz she likes the musical guest Katy Perry. Other than that, we listened to a modified light-classical channel she found. When I'd sat down on the couch, I'd moved a book she was reading: Neil Gaiman's "Norse Mythology". She mentioned some of his other books and I was interested in "Neverwhere" (so I've put a hold on it).

I suggested we could watch my Special Anniversary Edition of the "Stargate" movie ('cuz it has a dreamy young James Spader in it) for our next movie night. And then we finally had the dessert she prepared: vanilla ice cream, mouth-watering raspberries and supposedly ridiculously-priced blueberries, with tons of Bailey's on top. Mmmmmmmmm.

Right now, I've finished my mint iced tea and am heading off to bed, totally cat free (I believe, lol). I'm going to start another mystery book.
I am so out of it, after such a long (though mostly amazing) day that started when I woke up two minutes ahead of the 5:45 alarm. Anything that spares me having to listen to the tune is a very good thing. The weather seemed to be hinting warmth while also threatening rain. Luckily, the clouds only menaced slightly and the sun came out in late afternoon.

I arrived at church at 9:10 (eek, so early) and spent the next hour listening to the glorious music from the first service and chatting with friends. Managed to snag my usual seat and dragged church-John and (to my delight) Ashley to sit in the same pew with me. Though Ash was there, she was in too much pain to come to brunch with us. I'm sorry to see she's being hit with the ravages of getting older. The music director had gathered a large and versatile group of instrumentalists to form the "band". The sound system was excellent and I particularly loved hearing the violins over it. All the music was triumphal and splendid.

When the service ended at 12:20, we were on our way to my fave place in the village. The waiters were outrageous and the food delish. C-J and I shared a half pitcher of "winter" sangria and Spanish coffees. While he had the classic breakfast, I moaned over spaghetti with savoury lamb meatballs. It was the perfect food for me, as the pasta was very easy to digest. The seasoning of the lamb and the tomato sauce was exceptional. C-J and I enjoyed covering a multitude of conversation topics through the afternoon.

Finally, it was time to get me home (along with the applesnax and paper towel he'd bought for me). When we arrived, he assumed his natural role as the cats' Uncle John (hee). And, then, he left me to settle down and crank out my service review. It felt shorter than usual, but I think it was an average length. Perhaps the fact that I didn't dwell on specifics made it seem shorter. I finished minutes before 6, so could switch on the news. Imagine my shock to hear that some really nasty person had "fire-bombed" a church in the west end. Luckily, whatever combustible liquids he'd poured through a hole in the window failed to spread, so damage was limited to about five grand. As well as cancelled church services and a shocked congregation. The only good news after that was seeing how fabulously the Maple Leafs had played, winning against the Caps in double OT. Woo-hoo!

After that, I zombie-watched last night's SNL. I really shouldn't watch when I'm so out of it. Right now, I just want to wash my face and go to bed. So I think I shall. Let's hope I'm back to being fully human tomorrow morning. ::crosses fingers::
The day started out on a high note as I'd set the alarm for 8, leaving me with plenty of time before my pickup shortly after noon. I was also lazy and didn't put on fresh eye makeup. Hey, these are my chosen sisters, so I think I'm excused. As the day was slightly colder, but gloriously sunny, I added a turtleneck to my outfit, as well as my circular scarf. I left the house early because I had to handle going down the unstable front steps, then walking down the driveway to get my walker from the garden. Just as I was walking back, I heard the beep of my minivan. Wow, he was very early. We also had a speedy traffic-free drive to the restaurant. Yes, I'd arrived at 12:10, with the others expected at 1:00. But I got a banquette seat for myself with lots of room for RS and Jan. I sat and enjoyed my pot of Earl Grey with milk and sugar. So soothing. In the end, both of them were early, too, so we got the chicken feast on its way.

We had so much fun catching up. Haven't seen RS in months because she has a new job that's not only downtown, but west of downtown - while she lives in the suburbs to the northeast of my location. When Sunday comes round, she ponders "church or sleep" and sleep wins. But she'll make an effort to come, now that the weather is improving. We chatted about all sorts of stuff. I suggested having a group movie outing to see "Hidden Figures". They agreed. So, perhaps a week from Saturday.

We surprised ourselves by eating so efficiently (and deciding to take half our meals home), that it was way too early (1:30, with our rides expected at 3:30). So we paid our bill, mentioned we'd sit and let our lunch digest and then probably order dessert later from another server. Apple pie with vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel sauce was my treat. We took our time savouring the tastes. Finally decided we needed some fresh air, so headed outside at 3:05. RS's ride came early (3:20); my ride was late (3:45); and Jan decided to take public transit home, so she left as soon as I was safely away. I was home in mere minutes. Yay.

I managed to relax before watching my evening programs. After I'd had a drink to wash down the leftovers, I zonked out for about 4 minutes at the beginning of Jeopardy! so had to restart. It was a good game and I was rooting for the student from MIT. As was church-John when we exchanged texts. We are such dorks! Was too woozy to watch Murdoch Mysteries so will watch the recording tomorrow morning. All hail magic TV. Anyway, I'm having a craving for more ice cream, so will indulge. All hail ice cream, too!
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.
Whoa! What a difference a day makes. First of all, I did manage to find funny or intriguing stories to read, so much so that I didn't climb into bed until 3:13. Eeeeeek! So I set the alarm for 9:33 (my fingers fumbled so I left it at :33). But I actually woke up around 7:40 and found it acceptable. Had a leisurely morning and was surprised to get my groceries delivered right at the beginning of the window, at 11:00 a.m., at which point I had to turn both my fridges into the cooling handbag version in the manner of Mary Poppins. But I did it ('cuz I iz creative). Then I got to watch yesterday's news and game shows on SuM's TV. Also contributed to this week's Savage Love.

All the cats spent most of the day with me and SuM texted me, asking me to feed them lunch. Uh ... SuM, the container is empty. Oh, no prob. There's a big bag in the corner of the covered porch. So I went and looked and actually found it. Such a relief. When SuM finally got in (she'd been out for a drink with a colleague and then did a wee bit of shopping), I asked whether she could take a look at my TV. But, first, she wanted to make supper and offered me some homemade beef meatballs mixed with hoisin and sriracha. Yummy! So, after we'd eaten, she came back for girl talk and then looking at the TV. Oh, thank heavens. It wasn't anything wrong with the TV; the Fibe box just needed to be reset. ::growls in frustration:: After we got the TV working again, I was wondering how to switch the remote so I could play DVDs (as it had been way too long). Um ... blondie, it would really, REALLY help if your blu-ray player was actually PLUGGED in. Oy. So, yay. I can plays discs, even though switching on the remote requires THREE hands (which, obviously, I do not have).

Anyway, even though she doesn't have prior consent from her ex, SuM's invited me to join them and their son for Christmas Day dinner. Though I'd been planning on having a quiet day at home (and cooking), I think I may take her up on the invite. I just don't know what I can contribute. I have eggnog. Or wine. Or-or-or ... I don't know. I'll have to ask her tomorrow. We've already divvied up the day: she dyes her hair in the morning; I do laundry and wash my hair in the afternoon. Sounds like a plan. Anyway, I just sent Diva and Grumpy home with their mum. I don't need to be charged with alienation of affection, lol. And my offer of a bottle of rosé has been accepted. Yay!
I'm almost there, being so sleeeeeepy, due to tryptophan and carbs and gravy and-and-and a couple pieces of pie with ice cream. Yes, obviously, TG dinner was a success at church. Mind you, my day started off much too early because I woke up at 6:44 from the cold. Brrrrrrr. Had to take a chance on escaping the colder weather and was lucky that my driver arrived before I went outside, so no sitting and shivering.

I was dropped off at church around 12:10. Uh ... dinner doesn't start until 2:00. But better to be there and saving seats rather than the reverse. Texted both Jan and RS. Jan arrived a few minutes later. However, the holiday curse that targets RS was still active. Her vehicle was involved in an accident and she went to the hospital just to be checked out. So I sent gentle hugs by text. Unfortunately, there was no reply, but I'm hoping she got back home in one piece.

We had around 150 people for dinner, served on decorated tablecloths (candle lanterns, flower vase, leaf cutouts, autumn napkins), along withi yellow and orange garlands and big leaves on pillars. The finishing touch was a long sprig of cranberries on the back of each chair.

There was lots of food, most of it excellent. After the traditional hot food, I loaded up a second plate with unknown veggies and casseroles. Well, I think I've just had several days' worth of healthy veggies. For dessert, I went up twice, the first time to get raspberry pie, the second time for apple pie, both times with vanilla ice cream.

We didn't have the extent of entertainment as in previous years (it all depends on who's coming) but Brent's assistant popped in after we'd eaten dressed in a sari to perform an Indian dance on stage. Wow. Also, who needs cardio when you can dance like that!

Although, my new fave minister had promised me a ride home, she approached me after 4, saying that someone was headed my way and - if I wanted - I could get a ride home. I was relieved to say yes and travel home in broad - sunny - daylight. So I said goodbye to my friends and was off. When I got in, naturally I had to write a wee review of the dinner for FB. And then I zonked out, but still managed to watch tonight's Big Bang Theory. Anything else I'm leaving for tomorrow. Because the serotonin has vanquished me!
First, the cats. So, when I got settled down in bed last night, Diva was behind me on "pillow mountain" and leaning over and ... uh ... licking my hair. Uh, Diva dear, why are you licking the hair that received a blast of hairspray yesterday morning? IIRC, hairspray and perfume all have a terrible-tasting residue. Yuck. Yes, silly cat.

This morning, she kept patting my face and I was ignoring her while trying to sleep. When I finally opened my eyes, I discovered just why she was trying to wake me up. I'd slept all the way to 12:03 p.m. Whoa! But, then, it's pretty plain that I needed all that sleep. So, poor kitties had their eating schedule all confuddled. Sorry, kitties.

In the early afternoon, I finally got around to doing a wee bit of laundry. I'm especially pleased with one long sundress I bought that apparently just needs some airing out, so I don't need to wash it as frequently (not like the stuff that's worn once and gets tossed in the laundry bag). So I might try to find more outfits made of the material.

In the evening, I watched a whole lot of recorded tv, including a couple epis of Castle (and there are still two more to go), as well as the finale of the (singing in the workplace) Choirs competition on TVO (a repeat from last December) from Ely Cathedral. The finalists were a fire station, the company that is in charge of the ferry between Dover and Calais, and Citibank in London. While watching (and especially listening), I was transported all those decades ago (yep, 45 years ago), remembering especially when my voice was broadcast over the speakers outside for noonday passersby (and my first lover - ahhh), as I sang from within the Planetarium, and also when I sang in some pretty impressive chapels and churches. Siiiiiiiiiiiiigh. Anyway, it was a delightful show. I loved the concept of co-workers singing together, especially when someone who's not a bigwig ends up having a particularly lovely voice. I think it helps break down some of the artificial divisions within the workplace.

Well, I think I'm going back to watching some more Castle. And hoping for more cooperative kitty sleeping tonight. ::crosses fingers::
... that comes alive whenever the Brian element combines with the Helenka element, with many sparkles resulting. Naturally, today was no different!

The alarm woke me up at 8, so I had almost 4 hours to get ready. Hated the idea of wearing layers, but added a black turtleneck, beret, socks, and winter gloves to my ensemble. Also packed an umbrella. My minivan showed up at noon and, in the 40 minute journey to the waterfront, the driver and I had exchanged personal histories. He was from Ethiopia and had been in Canada for 33 years. We talked a lot of individual philosophy of responsibility and behaviour.

Brian showed up a few minutes later, so we were headed to the island (Ward's, the populated one) around 1:00. I'm always sad because the taxi gets us there much too soon. I so enjoyed rocking with the waves and my spine really appreciated the gentle movements. When we got to the other side, we headed immediately to OUR gizyboo that seemed to be not far from lilac bushes whose scent entranced Brian. Had the special sammidges Brian had prepared from fancy ingredients he'd picked up at a specialty shop in the west end, accompanied by what we called "special" grape juice on our FB posts, lol. Well, the Bordeaux had had a gold medal seal on the bottle.

Though we escaped the rain, many others weren't as lucky. In one afternoon, we'd been treated to a spectacular display of lightning and thunder (almost overhead which caught Brian unaware!), patches of clear sky with puffy clouds (so I could see planes CLEARLY, surely an anomaly), hot sun drying the ground, violent wind bursts knocking over garbage cans, more rain, more sun.

Later, we had slices of my championship cheddar and seedless green grapes which didn't taste all that special UNTIL we had them with the cheese. Fabulous combination. We talked about all sorts of stuff: what plans each of us has for the summer and my desire to take a tour of the harbour - because we love being on the water. So that's my project: to find a boat that will accommodate my walker and mobility deficiencies (oh, aren't I just precious?). His is to find a free Saturday. Not lol. He's a very popular, busy boy!

Sadly, before we knew it, it was time to head back. We caught the 4:45 ferry back (though, we were so involved in our conversation as well as being transfixed by the glistening sun on the wavecaps, we nearly didn't exit the boat!) and got to my pickup point at 5:10. Luckily, my minivan was already there, so no anxiety from me. Even with another pickup, I still got home at 6:00. SuM and I had a wee talk about my day (lovely), the fact that she'd vacuumed my place (oh, thank goodness), and her plans to go to the fireworks with the gang at a nearby park. Just then the gang arrived, so I made myself scarce from the way-too-barky dogs.

Enjoyed a more stimulating Jeopardy! game tonight, and surprisingly got the Final clue ("The Pony Express") right. I'm also so pleased when I get American stuff right.

Before it gets any later, I think I'd better have some cappuccino yogurt and take my pain pills. I'll have lots of laundry tomorrow, because klutzy moi knocked over a can of Coke, spilling it only both my dress and trousers. Oh, well, I have plenty of time for chores this weekend.
Well, yes, it was obviously a holiday up here, but parts of my body were disinclined to participate. Woke up at 7 and spent the morning at my computer. Then decided to crawl back into bed, especially because I was too lazy to put on a pair of socks. In my defence, I was trying to not put pressure on my swollen feet and calves. Long sigh.

SuM offered to vacuum my place, so I agreed ... even though there were so many cartons strewn about. Hee - the upside of that is that SuM offered to put my cart together and said she'd probably ask her son to help, too. She's taking the rest of the week off as vacation, but spending a lot of time on chores (borrowed my hammer and nails to fix the back deck railing).

I continued to be a chilled zombie for most of the afternoon, though it was lovely having Diva visiting me while mommy was doing stuff. Beyond the usual game shows, I watched Houdini & Doyle which is entertaining but not completely satisfying. I'm not keen on Doyle's eccentricities. As it's only the end of May, it's going to be an excruciatingly long summer with no decent TV. I think I need to get some large-print books from ye librarye. In the meantime, I'm off to find some intriguing fic. And now that I've checked the score, I can sleep happy, as the Raptors have tied the series 2-2 with the Cavs. Yippee!!!
helenkacan: (Default)
( Feb. 15th, 2016 11:23 pm)
Short answer. In my tummy, though in two installments. Details below.

So it was a teensy bit warmer today. And the sky was almost light. Unfortunately, my mind must have processed SuM's movements (and I certainly didn't think she was going to work today), so I woke up at 5:55 ... and stayed up. It just meant I had more time for fooling around and then getting ready. My driver was early and impatient, ringing the doorbell twice. Sigh. We set out around 10:35 and I arrived at Swiss Chalet pretty quickly. There was almost nobody there, so I asked the man who was a combination of manager-bartender-waiter about his bourbon selection. Alas, this location had very little alcohol and none of it bourbon. He even checked his locked storage cupboard. Oh, well. I guess I'm not finding out the brand.

My sis RS showed up just a few minutes later (ah, synchronicity) and we had a nice table booth (booth for me). We enjoyed a free appetizer of mini spring rolls. I ended up having two ryes & ginger. Then we both ordered the roast beef as I'd had way too much chicken already at home. I ended up taking most of mine home as I having a hard time seeing what I was cutting. That just meant I had a substantial supper. But we both ordered dessert, mine being coconut cream pie in honour of the late Uncle Billy.

RS's ride came around 2 and she was worried about leaving me there all alone. But I just sat and read FB posts until my ride showed up, thankfully early at 2:45. I was home quickly before the murky yellowish sky got any darker. And then vegged. Recorded The X-Files and then watched tonight's Castle. But I guess I was a little fuzzy from the large glass of red wine I'd had along with my leftovers, so I'll need to watch it again tomorrow. But at least I'm really relaxed.

RS was really happy to reconnect with me. We caught up on all sorts of things, wished Jan were well enough to join us on Family Day, and just had a generally good time. I like the fact that we have lines of intersectionality even though she's half my age! But, then, I've been smashing age expectations for decades. Yay me. Now I hope to smash my head against my pillow mountain for a well-deserved sleep. Also yay.
Wait. What?
Oh, okay, it's just Brian and Helenka acting silly on a time delay since Christmas as they couldn't get together then (due to the major gallivanting on the continent by a certain baby brother of mine.

There was a bit of confusion as I hadn't heard back from him, so I just continued to get ready in the morning and set out the tea service next to the kettle, along with peach tea bags. I messaged him and found he was on his way. Okay, I can stop worrying now (even though SOME people consider it to be a hobby of mine nowadays; I have NO idea why they'd think that).

When he showed up, he had surprises for me. Well, there was the measuring cup I'd asked him to buy. Then the crockpot I was inheriting from him ... so he could get a fancier model. And ... three gifties from his last vacation to the magical land of Harry Potter! If you recall my emotional distress over having had to give away so many of my possessions in my last post, it wasn't only jewellery. There were also all the stuffed animals I'd gotten attached to, many of them treasured gifts. As Brian remembered how sad I was to give up my plush (upholstery fabric) E.T., he got me a mini E.T., wearing a red hoodie. He's adorable! I think he'll be coming to church with me tomorrow. And there were Hogwarts gifties, too, namely a chocolate wand (now, that's just teasing!) and a keychain with my name on it.

When Brian had showed up, I was showing OFF my improved surroundings, especially my fireplace and LED pillar candles. He laughed at the fact that I could control 8 pillars with one remote. Then he got down to business, hooking up my new printer and getting it to work. Woo-hoo. It's in a place where I should be able to see the display screen. Also, bonus for NO wires. After that it was off to the cellphone provider. I'm claiming that the palindromic nature of the day (16-1-16) as well as his presence were my two good luck charms. Between his expert advice (yes, Brian, you will ALWAYS have the power!) and bonus discounts for being a long-time client in good standing, I got an incredible new cellphone. The cherry on the top was a case and screen protector that were covered by a three year old gift certificate. Whoopee!

After that, we made a quick stop to Loblaws so I could get real cash money. As well as some chocolate bars AND spice grinders ... now that I'm going to be actually cooking real food! Then we were off to the local Montana's. Even though we had to wait, we finally got a booth. Uh, perhaps not such a good idea as the bench was just hardwood. Ouch. Blonde is already in pain. At least the food and drink (yum) helped against some of that. I started off with a smoky peach lemonade made with bourbon (had never had bourbon before), followed by a large rack of ribs with tangy peach sauce, corn bread, coleslaw, loaded baked potato, two skewers of shrimp and a sizzling skillet of mushrooms. No, of course, we didn't finish our meals. My leftovers will make an excellent lunch. But we did order dessert, mine in the form of a boozy milkshake (black cherry with ice cream, bourbon, topped by whipped cream and a cherry). Another unique bourbon taste sensations.

We finally came back, with me dragging myself up the front steps. SuM was home, so it was a relief not to unlock the front door. Brian had already played with my phone during dinner, so it was usable but most confusing to this olde blonde who isn't accustomed to talking to seemingly sentient electronic devices. Shades of the computer on the Enterprise! Yes, I'm sure I'll be having many ::coughs:: informative hours of learning how to operate my new baby. Just. Not. Tonight.

Anyway, time to go. I have to deal with brushing my teeth manually because I don't have the energy to find a screwdriver to unscrew the battery compartment. Or to answer Brian's message of how I'm finding my new phone. Or to sweep lots of miscellany off my bed. Well, maybe I can do that. And then blissful, pain-free (I hope) sleep!
Yup, you can guess that I've had a total of ONE drink and I'm fading quickly. Then, again, I didn't expect to wake up at 5 groan o'clock. OTOH, the good thing is that I booked my rides for next Thursday and got them immediately. As is customary, I did stay up for a while, having brekkie and playing on my 'puter before sliding back into bed, desperate to catch up on my sleep. Was lucky and slept in until 1:22.

Worked on my introspective post for FB ... about becoming old, finding purpose in writing after my musical dreams dissipated into wispy cobwebs. Responded to all my friends' FB posts about their own New Year's aspirations. Church-John got back to me about delivering my printer on Saturday. And Carol (the soup-maker) said she'd drop off my home-made soups tomorrow. Yay!

Surprised myself completely by getting tonight's Final Jeopardy clue: "Gnu". Yup, who gnu? Then I enjoyed the Royal Canadian Air Farce New Year's Special. One of the best bits was a SW takeoff: The Trudeau Awakens. I'm glad I recorded it so I can read the scrolling words. Justin goes to the Cantina on Tatooine to find new cabinet ministers. He's visited by the spirit of Obi-Wan Trudeau (aka his Dad) but Justin's so excited about playing with his lightsaber that he accidentally slices dear old dad in half before Senior was able to impart his wisdom.

After that I had my smoked salmon on soft bread, dressed with a bit of honey mustard (yes, I was having faux gravlax) and capers. No lemon wedge. And ONE Bloody Caesar. Sigh. Now I'm waiting for the alcohol to wear off a bit before I take my evening pills. So I'm watching the NY special from the This Hour Has 22 Minutes gang.

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year! Stay healthy and try to find happiness ... somewhere (over the rainbow).
Christmas Eve:
I so needed a day without pressure and a chance to be a slob until later in the day. Managed to play with my hair and came to the conclusion that I want to grow it again. I think I'd like to be able to put it up in braids and buns (or braided buns), so it needs to be all one length. Also, it's just getting too tiresome to be jaunting off to the local mall just to go to get my hair cut. Sigh.

Used up the last of my Euphoria shower gel in the afternoon. ::iz sad:: But I'm hoping that the gift set advertised by Shoppers Drug Mart isn't too expensive. And there IS a location near me. ::must ponder:: Blondie can look semi-decent )

How was the service itself? Well, Brent was in fabulous form. He managed to glide between profound to humorous very easily. He spoke about the power of faith ... of hope. Also, he had a huge contingent of his family there which was appropriate for the 25th Anniversary of the enhanced service. I managed to use my monocular to at least see the faces of people speaking or singing/playing, but I'm looking forward to watching the webcast whenever it gets released.

Christmas Day:
The service ended at 12:10 and I called church-John from the lobby. Thankfully, he was already in the area, so I just waltzed out and into his waiting car where he also had his wee Maltese, Bear. We had a quick ride to my place and he helped the olde ladye up the scary front steps. SuM had already locked the door and gone to bed. Oh, thanks a lot. /sarcasm.

Even though it was 1:00, I didn't feel like going to bed yet, as I needed to decompress. So I stayed up until a few minutes shy of 3:00. Eeks, again. Oh, sleeplessness and having to be social )And, then, I was in. Said my "Merry Christmas" to the hordes and then was in blissful seclusion. I've been busy exchanging supportive and generous messages via FB to lots of people. Also e-mailed my childhood friend Danny and the co-leader of the vision loss group about a suggestion for an upcoming meeting.

Now I'm just really tiiiiiiired. Need to do laundry (as I remembered Uncle Billy by dribbling on my top). But that's something to worry about when I wake up. My big decision now is whether I open prezzies. Yes! I'd been too tired to open them earlier. Oh, whatever shall I do? ::fades away into oblivion::
Yes, it's almost time for me to be picked up (7:00) by my minivan. I'll keep my fingers crossed that it's not late. And then I'm off for the Christmas Eve service, though I'll certainly have many hours to wait (for carols at 10:30 and the service proper at 11:00). But I've packed my joke book and should while the hours away in pleasant conversation. Found out I'll have a companion volunteer who's been assigned the seat next to mine. Not familiar with her name ... so that'll be an adventure.

Hoping you'll all have a serene evening and night, whatever you're doing. Talk to you on the flip side of midnight (though I'm hoping it's NOT too late).
I think my prayers may be answered. There was a video and report from the Weather Channel FB page and, with the exception of this weekend, Christmas week will see temperature - at least here - in the double digits. IOW, cycling i/o skating or skiing weather. I can't wait. Hey, if I need to, I could always spray fake snow on my windows. But I won't, because I know there'll be some of that stuff ... eventually.
Hey, I can't help but get carried away. It was an amazing day, starting with Thanksgiving Day dinner at church. I didn't really dress up, just added my sparkly headband, crystal chandelier earrings to my all-black ensemble. My minivan showed up at 12:15 while I was sitting outside, luxuriating in the warmth and sun (72F in mid-October? Outstanding!).

When I arrived (early), Jan and I tried to organize where we'd be sitting and were successful in securing the first two tables (end to end) closest to the hot food. Jan brought a friend as did RS, so I invited my Sunday morning pal Toby to join us. The food was amazing and I'm on a squash hunt now. Other yummy dishes were rice, peas, spicy pulled pork, smashed 'taters, turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce. I'm sure I've forgotten a few items. Before the meal began, servers circulated with plates of crudités and excellent cold roast beef. My second plate was naked salad and tender cold ham. Then one of my friends (dressed in vibrant colours) taught a Hawaiian dance on stage. I was momentarily unhappy wondering where the mocha bundt cake was because I wanted a slice. Well, it had been nearly completely devoured, so I was lucky to snag a piece to eat on the spot with some ice cream and packed up the second piece for SuM.

There was music galore to keep us entertained, including piano, the MCCT band (an impromptu group of people from East Africa), mellow sax and random percussion. Between live sets, there was light music including lazy jazz.

People were so quick to make everything flow smoothly, from prep to cooking to serving to cleanup, including washing a mountain of china and cutlery (yes, real plates, etc.). And, then, there I was with the luxury of being driven home with the windows down by Rev. Kevin who met SuM and son outside on the front lawn. SuM loved the piece of cake, so we're conspiring to share one next time church-John goes shopping.

I'm really glad and relieved that I kept a tight rein on my portions, so that I was only on the verge of approaching being stuffed as I finished the piece of cake. And now I don't feel sleepy or groggy or - even worse - sick. I'd also been worried before the meal because I had a scratchy throat, but that disappeared over the course of the day. Yay for maintaining good health and a very satisfying day ... which, naturally, I wrote up in my FB post. I was also thrilled to see all the photographs that had been posted by several people. Amazing to think we'd fed 150 people, had food available for seconds, doggy bags and still more left for the high school housed in the basement. I'm just busting with pride for my church home and community.

.....more to follow about the rest of my day.
Yes, we know I iz all about teh hyperbole on Sundays. But today was even better than usual. When I left at 8:50, it was still coolish and dismal but, as soon as my bus took off, I noticed a bright ray of sunshine lighting up the interior. And the sun stayed all day long (i/o deteriorating into showers). Arrived at church at 9:15 (whoa, so early) and sat and talked with my friends, mostly about the upcoming election. Well, there goes the proscription against what one doesn't discuss in polite company. Was this worse, talking politics IN church?

While i was cleaning the anointing oils, I looked up and smiled as our guest cellist walked into my frame of view. That guarantees fabulous music! I was sweetly surprised by Brent's customary shoulder squeeze when I went by him. He has been extra affectionate with me since his return. ::sighs gratefully:: I wonder if he's just appreciating all of the people he's been able to influence or been influenced by ... and that soonish his way of living will be completely altered. Anyway, when I returned to my pew, there was a woman sitting there. I was just about to introduce myself (yadda, details, yadda) when SHE welcomed me, saying she loves reading my summary every week! I think I'll put an open invitation in my writeup next week to join me in my pew.

I cried so much during the service, but I know I wasn't the only one. Brent took us on an undulating river journey where we followed the flow, not knowing whether we'd be mourning parts of our history or getting some relief from a funny memory. My own tears continued during the Offering, as it was a tender, evocative solo. Church-John and I had one of the Deacons for both Anointing and Communion; for the latter, her prayer was for us to go and be "Ambassadors of God"! Well, that was impressive.

I had to dash out as the service didn't end until 12:20. As I sat outside, I got to greet even more people (and have been hitting my head, trying to remember some of the names from long ago). Really enjoyed my conversation with my cab driver who got me home at 1:00. I offered the cats an open door policy; the two more rambunctious ones took me up on it, while Diva stayed with me. And, then, I had to scurry to write my summary and post it. Finally finished it around 3. Now I'm exhausted.

Was completely taken aback by an e-mailed comment from my SGA novel reposted on AO3. OMG, there was so much carefully detailed praise with numerous examples that, as soon as I'd read it, I had a huge smile on my face. How could this day be so ... awesome? With gorgeous, sunny, warm weather, too?

My cat-mothering ended when SuM returned after 5. Oh, good. She got a verbal report of cat (and human) misadventures though I told her she could wait until tomorrow to fix my shower door. I'd already moved things around in the bathroom to try to eliminate a potential source of the problem. I hope it's enough to make the door more stable. ::crosses fingers::

I'm scared to find out what the baseball score is. I was on FB a few minutes ago and had to leave because friends were discussing the score. Mind you, they were just listing numbers and not which team had which number. Ack! I think that's even worse. Anyway, I'd better think about bed because I haven't packed anything to take to church for tomorrow. Yay for the continuation of a fabulous holiday weekend!


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