Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hump Day Vacation

Well, the sun didn't shine (at least here) today and I did take it off as a vacation day but you know that didn't bother me as I thought it would. I got many things accomplished and although none of them were crucial to world peace they sure gave me some peace of mind. And although several of them are domestic chores the method in the madness is that with the long weekend coming up (only two more days but who's counting?) I'll have a headstart on some of the household and be able to play freely. I am proud to say that I only raised the phone to my ear four times, once to make a hair appointment, once to hear my library book I'd reserved was in, and twice to hear the voice of friends so quite a switch from the usual workday. I was truly given a gift as the shore captain had fishing industry meetings first in Dartmouth then Yarmouth so did not arrive home until 9:30 p.m. and the prodigal son is on the high seas so the critters et moi were living the vida loca.

List of completed tasks

1. slept in
2. got my haircut
3. read the paper before noon
4. did four loads of laundry
5. cleaned up from the pig roast
6. read my library book
7. walked the dog
8. ate what and when I wished
9. checked out land and waterfowl

I am supposing this is what a day in the life of a retired person may possibly look like. At the very least it describes a midweek day off of a shift worker. And it includes my not accepting a kind invitation to lunch by one of those shift workers because if you're planning on spending the day as a recluse there's no point in getting social about it, even if the company would've been good.

And speaking of being social, the new buzz word is social distancing which refers to such things as not shaking hands, keeping 1 - 2 metres (depending on which rule you use) away from others, and using good respiratory etiquette which is defined as coughing/sneezing in your sleeve not your hand. Sorry for slipping in to my shop talk. These and other rules are being proposed by universities etc. in preparation for the fall as opposed to some other countries where they have already cancelled classes in universities and daycares or so my Argentine friend tells me.

Too bad that all this H1N1 activity will likely curb my social life as I'll be too busy either running around like chicken little or giving multiple flu shots or both. I have a message from 'my agent' about a cruise for the fall which I will have to open at work tomorrow as the graphics do not allow for dialup, but I'm thinking that fall and vacation are mutually exclusive terms for anyone working in infection control this year.

As I mentioned the animals and I had a great day together even though Keely looked like Egor. Every year she manages to jump on some kind of stinging insect in the grass and ends up with a decidely rakish one-eyed look. She is right on schedule as you can see.

I took a satellite phone call from the boy on the water who was instructed by his father to "call every night at 9 p.m." and considering this is evening two and the initial call came at 10:45 p.m that's about par for the course. Mind you he told me that "last night there was a lot going on with about 14 boats around and a longliner setting gear next to me but I'm settled down now and just remembered" It was good to hear his voice and he assured me that everything was ok on the boat, the crew were working out ok, and they were keeping up in catches with everyone else and would be in as planned on Friday. The call was amazingly clear in the thick fog but as his father would say "it should be at that price!" He was able to relay all kinds of info about the shipping registry as he is always one with the latest news and had used the phone as well for another captain having alternator problems. Why does he always sound so grownup when he's on the water and make me want to kick him up and down the road when he's ashore eh?

Well, off to hit the hay. Two more sleeps and then another day off. Yeah for weekends.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Pork and more pork

What – it’s been a week since I posted? Apparently so when I check the date.

I did (barely) survive the remainder of my workweek. As you might imagine things are beginning to percolate with the pandemic planning. I anticipate there will not be much slowdown for either of my job descriptions in the mid to longer future. With today’s discussion of the need for us to occasionally be involved in meetings which are scheduled from 4 – 6 p.m. daily, I calmly stated “I’ll take my turn and begin my work day two hours later” which was met with surprised acceptance. Too early to create a precedence of working 12 hr days and getting paid for eight, I thought to myself although aloud I quoted the ‘sustainability factor’ in my agreement.

We had five house guests on the weekend. Daughter # 2 arrived from the city to assist with the entertaining duties and her cru amused themselves while she worked. It’s been quite a while since the spare bedroom, den and living room floor were all covered with young sleeping bodies in this place. One of the guests is hoping to be accepted to veterinary college next year and fell in love with the resident animals, especially Stanley offering to adopt him and take him back to the city. The life partner agreed and when I protested that the baby daughter would take exception to this as he is ‘her cat’ he reminded me that he has lived with us the past two years while she was in residence and even with the apartment in September he will still continue here because….not one but two of her roommates are allergic to cats and that he was not afraid of daughter # 3!! Poor Stanley, it didn’t seem fair to send him to an urban, rather unsettled existence, although I’m sure he would adjust. But his stalking of the dog with resultant whines as I write is causing me to rethink my intervention.

The end of last week was spent getting ready for our annual social event – the Moncada Day Pig Roast which we are now recovering from. We fed (I think) about 45 people yesterday which is a smallish crowd by our standards. Thankfully the fog hung mostly offshore and there were a few brief glimpses of blue sky. The panic du jour was when I arrived home on Saturday afternoon with the pig (which the butcher had picked up in the Valley) only to have the pigmaster have a meltdown as both the head and skin had been removed. This led to a workaround on Sunday of tin foil wrapped around the pig which slowed the roasting and its removal which caused it to cook more on the outside with the result of a delayed eating time of an hour. The guests declared it the best pork ever and only the chef was stressed. His dark pronouncement of “you’d better hope that Rogelio doesn’t come to see this” unfortunately came true as we missed our Cuban friends and daughters (Cuban and otherwise) this year. I was inspired to hand my camera to a photographic friend and have done much better in the recording for prosperity department than usual, I’ll stick to the kitchen I think.

I have made arrangements to take a vacation day on Wednesday as the weather forecast is for sun and in this dismal season of precipitation that has passed for summer that alone is reason enough to use an earned day. The fact that the shore captain has a fishery meeting in the city that day ensures my ‘staycation’ will not be preempted by domestic duties and my library book awaits. Best to take the time when I’m able and this will also break up my week into a possibly manageable four days to match the following one with its civic holiday. Yeah!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Round and round

Well, I’m finally able to sit in front of the computer without feeling like I’m on a tilt-a-whirl at the exhibition so I’ll catch up on the details.

Yesterday I discovered that I had vertigo as I attempted to get ready to travel to the district facility (for the first of three days this week which I’m scheduled to be there) and it did not improve as the day wore on. Feeling like more of a space cadet than usual, I left early, thinking a rest might help. I feel asleep trying to read the newspaper and went to bed at 9 p.m. which alarmed the life partner who is accustomed to my padding around at midnight. Today I attempted to attend work but was getting some pretty strange looks from the patients in the waiting room as I staggered through their midst so finally gave it up at 10:30. Stocked up on decongestant and gravol at the drugstore and headed home without doing shoulder checks as that was more unsafe with the vertical hold spinning a la old black and white TV, than a blind spot. After surprising the critters with my arrival, medicating myself and napping for a couple of hours I do feel more human so will likely attempt the day in meetings tomorrow. Anyway, enough whining.

Had a very nice weekend which began with having friends over for dessert and a visit on Friday evening. Sad that it has to be scheduled in order to make it happen with our frantic lives. As you can see the weather has been wet and Gary was this soaked just wandering through the grass. I took in the Farmers Market on Saturday but found it a bit sparse, likely due to the weather as the skies dumped rain and we all ran for cover. I headed up to Frenchy’s to console myself and spent $65 so that was two full garbage bags. Found lots of others escaping the precipitation as well so caught up on the news. Sunday brought sunshine and a nice evening spent with friends at a BBQ. The hula skirts for women and floral bras for the men were a nice touch can’t wait to see those photos. Ahh.

Looking forward to my niece visiting next weekend and bringing down the pre-owned computer which we’re purchasing from them. Will be good to have the puter in the den, hooked up to the printer and all rather than a dead one sitting there collecting dust. Well off to restore my gyroscope horizontally.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pies and dust bunnies

Waiting for the brown bread to come out of the bread maker and the pies to finish baking so a few moments to fill in the news.

My day started before I even got out of the bedroom with a phone call from an unknown cell phone (the logical thought that it was a cohort of the prodigal son but what would they be doing awake at 7:15 a.m.?) which turned out to be the cleaning lady. She was calling to ask if her son had called to say she wouldn’t be by tomorrow and explained this was because 1) her sister was in an ICU in Halifax since Monday and they were still trying to find out the cause of her life threatening condition 2) the sister’s partner needed to be transported to the orthopedic specialist in Kentville as he was having a knee replacement next week so they were on their way to the appointment and then back to the city 3) she had come home from the ICU yesterday in a rush as her son had called to say that her husband had had another spell with hypertension and had a patch applied and another B/P med added so she had picked him up (although he wasn’t keen on the urban existence) flatly stating “I can’t be in two places at once and look what happens when I leave you alone, get in the vehicle”. Obviously nothing to be done but reassure that the cleaning here is not a problem, however for the domestically challenged such as yours truly this is a sizeable crisis.

Plans are to have the summer neighbours over tomorrow p.m. for dessert so it’s a good thing that they come for the company not the housekeeping here. Since I’ve made a strawberry/rhubarb and apple crumb top pie and have French Vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and maple syrup for the apple pie (got to give it a try) this will likely reduce their ability to view dust bunnies. Good way to start the weekend I’d say. I’ve left a LARGE note on the baked goods with idle parental threats for the prodigal son’s likely midnight arrival.

Work was one continuous crisis; the H1N1 situation which has never really dropped down is rearing its ugly head again. I do not have a good feeling about how my summer is going to be work load wise. Sigh.

At about noon I had a voice mail message on my work phone advising me to call my bank ASAP due to a security issue with my visa card. They were concerned that my card had possibly been copied and were cancelling and would reissue me a new card which would arrive in 5 – 7 days. Lovely I thought. I asked how this could happen, there had been only payments not purchases on it since vacation and I was advised that perhaps my card was one of a number which they were concerned about and that they guys were really good. I pointed out that if crooks were looking for a card to charge to, mine was a poor choice but they wouldn’t find that out until after they tried to use it I guess. Memo to self to ask the banking daughter what this means.

The spectacle saga continues as I called the eye glass dispensary and the manager was very helpful, stating they would replace the lenses free if the Dr. had reissued the prescription. When I described my situation he looked up my file and I read him the numbers (which meant something to him apparently) and he tells me that “we can make you new glasses but I don’t think they’ll help you see any better as the Rx isn’t that much different from the one we filled but it almost seems like he reversed the numbers” So, we have decided that I’ll drop by on Monday when I’m in town and sort out if I need a new eye exam, or the opthamologist needs to be consulted as the tie breaker or what. Even if this is settled I have resolved to NEVER have my vision tested again at the offending facility.

As always folks of my generation often need the assistance of the following generation and I’m glad to advise that my future son-in-law is a geek as I tried to send out a poster about our upcoming pig roast and none of the recipients could open it. It was interesting to see how that played out with some trying creative options to view, advising me there was something wrong with the file, and checking out their computer or software. Mister nailed it by saying “you’re using a copy of Word 2007 which your friends don’t likely have, since it’s an invitation and you’d like them to be able to read it, you need to save the file as an older version of Word” Glad he’ll likely be involved in decisions about my care when I completely lose my mind (not long now) as he’s very practical and will assist the daughter who won’t be able to handle us.

As well, I have been longing (more so than usual even) for the highspeed internet access this week as I had made plans to do a webinar on touring Egypt & Jordan this evening (allow me my small pleasures as an armchair traveler please) but….when I tried to download Microsoft Live Meeting last night it was going to take hours so I gave up, took my flashstick to work, downloaded and saved it in 2 min. 47 sec. However when I attempted to dial up for the webinar I could only connect at 21kps and so no webinar after all. I opted not to dial in by phone; if I want someone to talk about it to me I’ll listen to the radio or read about it, the concept was to be visual. Sigh.

Had a text message from the baby daughter saying that palliative care client she’d been caring for had passed away at home on her shift this week. Now that is a tough assignment at any stage in your career. Glad the family had such a mature care worker with them for support.

For having made it through the week I have plans on Saturday morning to wander on in to the farm market being held in town weekly and then reward myself with a Frenchy’s dig. Woohoo.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

These eyes

It's been a couple of busy post concert days where the overwhelming majority are still buzzing about the event and thinking of the next one. The weather has been nice for those who are on vacation or better yet...retired. Makes it tough to focus if you look out the window. Plans to take in a BBQ on Sunday which usually brings the showers but times with good friends make the precipitation a minor inconvenience.

Today the optometrist was back in the office so I arranged for a recheck visit and he grudgingly admitted that my glasses were not the correct prescription. This was after I plainly spelled out that the opthamologist (who trumps him) had clearly said the prescription was wrong. But he did this by telling me that my eyes had changed and asking if I'd had my blood sugar checked lately? The gloves were off then as I questioned why hyperglycemia would affect basically the vision in one eye and furthermore the opthamologist had checked my eyes out completely - retinas and all - just last week and pronounced them fine and the bifocals the problem! Not to mention the fact that I had never been able to see with the glasses since I got them and it was a good thing I didn't have two floors in my house or I might have broken something. To this he responds that sometimes it takes a while to get used to bifocals. So I remind him that it's been over six months, that I can't see properly and feel like I'm legally blind in all directions, my eyes pull, my head aches and I want to take them off all the time. He checks the glasses to make sure they are the proper Rx and then reluctantly pulls out the prescription pad.

The real problems start when I disclose that I took my prescription to a dispensary. "Oh, if we'd filled them here we'd replace the lenses, I'm not sure what they'll do". So the options are pay more to have them filled here in case you make a mistake and you'll replace them? I think to myself as I reach for the prescription. When I call the eye glass store she asks if I had the eye exam there and then "we usually replace them in a shorter time" so I explain that I had to wait until now to have the two extra appointments to see that I don't have eye problems but spectacle issues. I ask about the cost of the lenses and am told "about $240" So this is what I'll be out of pocket if the manager doesn't feel sorry for me tomorrow when I call. There are obvious reasons why he may not feel the need to replace lenses he filled correctly which were incorrectly prescribed. The facts are that I need to have glasses that I can see with and if I have to pay I will but I'll ensure that I broadcast where I had my incorrect eye exam!

Had an email from a Boston cousin saying my aunt had passed away in her sleep, which is something we could all hope for but this was Dad's last sibling so always sad when it's the end of the line. I hadn't seen her for some time but she was a character and I remember her fondly from childhood visits here and Stateside. My Mom told a story where she was trying to decide if George was 'the one' and sent him out to walk the dog (female dog in heat in East Boston) and poor George was forced in the end to pick the dog up and make a run for it - good thing he was a fireman and in great shape! She had found that part especially funny but also decided he was a keeper and he certainly was for about 60 years.

Off to make some progress on one of the library books.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Concert withdrawal

The question of the day - Was it worth it? You bet! And just to dispell the suspense...yes the shore captain did make it at the appointed hour to accompany me. It was a beautiful, sunny day with a bit of a breeze and made for a festive day.

On the drive we joined an ever increasing throng of rock n roll pilgrims heading into the city, stopped at a Tim Hortons drive through for sandwiches and bottles of water and dropped our stuff at daughter # 2s before heading off with our packed knapsack and folding chairs as if we were running away from home. The secret to being 'hard core groupies' is, we have discovered to limit water intake to 500 mls and food to two granola bars so as to not have to leave your spot for sustenance or biological break at the porta potties.

Too bad that instead of the shore captain driving while I read the paper, I was the chaffeur and he took a power nap. This prevented me from finding out that the lawn chairs posted on the 'allowed list' for the event meant binoculars would be needed to see the stage from where you were permitted to place chairs. So mister made an executive decision to chuck the chairs on the growing pile of other non-informed ticket holders and we headed towards the crush in front of the stage. Managed to score a spot about 25 ft. back and directly in front of the action and it was a wonderful show which we would have regretted not attending with 60,000 others, many having traveled long distances from Japan etc.

The opening acts were good but there was a reason the mayor declared July 11th Paul McCartney Day and Sir Paul did not disappoint and he certainly did not look as if he was having his 68th birthday in August. Did a good mix of oldies all the way to the present and the pyrotechnics with Live and Let Die were amazing! More details from the newspaper here:

We walked back to daughter # 2s apartment, grateful that she'd set up our bed to crash in and were asleep before our heads hit the pillows at midnight. Up and off to Smitty's for breakfast and on the road in the drizzle. A stop at the Lunenburg Craft Festival where we picked up a pair of earrings, a candle, lip balm, dried cherries, local wine and a kit to crochet my own mat. We also decided we were amazed at the talent in the Maritimes and that we were capable of making many of the beautiful crafts ourselves if....we were retired! But since we're not I'm off to catch on some much needed shut eye.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Paul - I Wanna Hold Your Hand

Well, the last minute plans are in place for the Paul McCartney concert tomorrow. There are colleagues from work heading down today and making a full weekend of it this household the plan is to leave by 11 a.m. tomorrow at the latest as the gate opens at 3 p.m. enjoy the concert to the fullest, crash at daughter # 2s then head back Sunday morning, perhaps taking in the Luneburg Craft Show. The plan B is that if mister doesn't arrive back from the wharf by 10:30 a.m. to get ready I call the friend conducting the fitness class who says she can be ready to go by 11 and we'll be off. And yes, he has agreed to these terms. So we shall see...

I think he realized I was serious when I told him about the following New England Journal of Medicine online posting and he just rolled his eyes:

Marital Status at Midlife May Signal Later Dementia Risk
Living with a partner at midlife is associated with a lower risk for dementia in later life, according to a BMJ study.

Researchers examined a cohort of some 1500 Finns at midlife — at average age 50 — and then again about 20 years later. Baseline measurements included the participants' marital status: married or cohabiting; separated or divorced; single; and widowed. Marital status was determined again at follow-up.

Participants with the greatest risk for dementia were carriers of the apolipoprotein E e4 allele who were widowed or divorced both at midlife and again at follow-up. Also at risk were those living without a partner at midlife.

The weather forecast is for sun so we won't need the rain gear used for the Rolling Stones or The Eagles concerts at least. My niece sent a FaceBook message saying I was too old to be going to all these concerts but she's missing the point that the entertainers are older than me! I'll be sure to update you by Sunday on the details.

We spent a nice evening visiting friends down from the city and staying at the family cottage on a local lake. Hadn't been there for years and it certainly had been developed. Reviewed photos of weddings and grandbaby of another visiting couple, the trip to England of the hosts and shared our Norway cruise album so we all traveled vicariously. Just think - last year this date we were flying to Iceland to begin our Grand Princess adventure and my premiere as cruise ship speaker. The only regret of the evening was that the grandfather had brought their New Zealand trip photos on a flashstick saying "everyone travels with a laptop now" and so we didn't get to see those as a cottage is just that - a cottage. Well, the shore captain's other regret was that we didn't get home until almost 11 p.m. and he had to get up at 4:30 a.m. to unload a boat.

And speaking of travel, if the workweek wasn't enough just to torture me 'my agent' sent along this message as I was having trouble wading through the latest H1N1 updates, statistics and various other :

Splendour of the Seas
7 nights

Sept. 19 - Sept. 26 Greek Isles
Oct. 17 - Oct. 24 Greek Isles
Venice, Italy 5:00 PM
Split, Croatia 7:00 AM 3:00 PM Tendered
Corfu, Greece 7:00 AM 3:00 PM Docked
Piraeus (Athens), Greece 12:00 PM 8:00 PM Docked
Mykonos, Greece 7:00 AM 6:00 PM Docked
Katakolon, Greece 8:00 AM 6:00 PM Docked
Venice, Italy 6:45 AM

Oct. 24 - Oct. 31 Greek Isles & Turkey
Nov. 7 - Nov. 14 Greek Isles & Turkey
Venice, Italy 5:00 PM
Dubrovnik, Croatia 10:00 AM 6:00 PM Docked
Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey 8:00 AM 6:00 PM Docked
Santorini, Greece 7:00 AM 5:00 PM Tendered
Corfu, Greece 12:30 PM 8:00 PM Docked
Venice, Italy 6:45 AM

Ah, one of these years, I'll be concerned about how many Air Miles I have not whether I'll be giving three sets of flu shots to staff (and lest you think this is a minor issue let me clarify - I can't keep up with one set annually).

Well, actually I can't even keep up with my reading as I had to negotiate with the librarian to give me an August 26th return date on the book I requested and was picking up today (The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski) as I'd already found one (How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman M.D.) when at the district facility on Wednesday.

And although both sets of summer neighbours have arrived (the first 10 days ago) I have yet to connect for a visit. Need to straighten out my priorities here I think.

And finally so you won't be "so last year" and will know the latest terms here is an article about the new words being entered into the dictionary:

SPRINGFIELD, Massachusetts -
Do you use a sock puppet to secretly keep track of your frenemies?

Plan to spend your staycation watching vlogs and webisodes? Or perhaps you plan to signal a flash mob for a quick bite of shawarma.

If you're not entirely certain what all that means, turn to the latest edition of the Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, which has added about 100 new words that largely reflect changing trends in American society.

John Morse, president and publisher of the Springfield-based dictionary publisher, said many of this year's new words are tied to changes in technology, increasing environmental awareness and aging baby boomers' concerns about their health and have become part of the general lexicon.

"These are not new words in the language, by any means," Morse said. "(But) when words like 'neuroprotective' and 'cardioprotective' show up in the Collegiate, it's because we've made the judgment that these are not just words used by specialists. ... These really are words now likely to show up in The New York Times, in The Wall Street Journal."

There are words such as locavore (one who eats foods grown locally), frenemy (someone who acts like a friend but is really an enemy), waterboarding (an interrogation technique use to induce the sensation of drowning), vlogs (a blog that contains video material) and webisode (a TV show that can be viewed at a Web site).

There's also flash mob (a group of people summoned electronically to a designated spot at a specified time to perform an indicated action before dispersing) and green-collar (involving actions for protecting the natural environment).

Some words that just now made the cut have been around for generations. The term "sock puppet" - a false online identity used for deceptive purposes - was tracked to 1959 but has taken on new popular use with people using fake IDs on social networking sites.

Many words have cross-cultural roots, including shawarma (a sandwich especially of sliced lamb or chicken, vegetables, and often tahini wrapped in pita bread) and reggaeton (music of Puerto Rican origin that combines rap and Caribbean rhythms).

Once words like these become so common that they regularly pop up in conversations and published articles, Morse said they pass muster for being included in the dictionary.

Some words, such as "staycation," have become so popular the dictionary could not ignore them, Morse said. Staycation refers to staying home for vacation and has gained popularity as the economy worsens.

But Morse said some words face years in limbo as wordsmiths wait to see if they are just fads.

Dave Wilton, author of "Word Myths: Debunking Linguistic Urban Legends," said it's difficult to draw conclusions about trends in society with just a handful of new words.

"It's also an editorial decision and reflects what the (dictionary) editors deemed important that year," Wilton said. "Most of these words have been around for a while but for some reason they grabbed the attention of editors this time."

Researchers often keep track of words over many years. One to watch: prepone.

The word is commonly used in India among English-speaking Indians and refers to the act of arranging for an event to take place earlier than originally planned - the opposite of postpone.

"Prepone didn't make it this time," Morse said. "But we know about it." - On the Net: Dictionary:

Monday, July 6, 2009

Is it only Monday?

Well, here I sit as Monday evening almost becomes Tuesday and realize that was one rapid weekend!

I had an unbelievable morning on Friday, even by my standards of 'if you can't serve as an example you'll at least have to be a horrible warning' with emotions running high and various types of crises following me as I rushed out the door to the make the beautiful seaside resort wedding just in time. The clouds and fog lifted for about an hour for the ceremony and the photos as you can see to the right are amazing. The shore captain did not make it to the wedding, which wasn't a surprise but he also opted out of the reception. This, as you might imagine, did not impress me much as Shania Twain has so aptly put it. There was a wonderful crowd of about 60 family and friends, from as far away as New Zealand and Alberta and a scrumptious meal. I was entertained at the table by the groom's rugby team mates and entertained they did!

On Saturday I ran errands, caught up on the phone with my relocated western friend - was horrified to learn that her husband had had a spell but was settled away now, stable and no damage. I was reminded of the time when they were living locally when she had arrived at the house as I was checking her spouse's B/P with her knee pads still on having driven like a maniac from her housecleaning job when she was notified of the event. The couple who were having the cleaning done arrived with the vacuum cleaner in several sections a bit later. Must've been the same sort of situation then. Whew. I did my civic duty by selling bingo books (the cash worked out exactly, apparently an uncommon event with community volunteers working the till) and working the floor. It was a particularly tough crowd who were not impressed with my lack of finesse regarding the finer points of bingo etiquette. Too bad, so fire me eh?

Sunday brought some sun and it's been a while since we saw it here so lots of pink hides noted today, mine included. After I walked the dog I arrived home to find the bride and groom and her sister and husband visiting as they are staying locally for a few days in a set of cottages. We enjoyed their company until we rushed off to the movie with another couple and saw The Hangover which (although a summer movie of which I had little expectations) was screamingly funny and believe me a good dose of funny was called for after last week. The day ended with a call from the baby daughter who is working in her Home Support Worker role in the humidity of Fredericton and moonlighting at Subway. Although it was midnight she was just starting to make apple pan dowdy (takes after her mother and oldest sister night owls) and wondered if it would fit in a pie pan. We had a good catch up as she was explaining her palliative care assignment. Great learning experience for a nursing student.

Today I rushed off to the district facility, checking messages along the way to discover even more crises developing - can't be crises if you're beginning to anticipate them can it? I did the orientation sessions and had one of the staff come attend so she can possibly take on that job, ending at 12:30. It sure would've come in handy today to have an understudy as I had a 3:40 p.m. eye appointment a two and a half hour drive away.

Of course I got in for my opthamologist appointment at 4:55 p.m. after struggling to read the newspaper with my eyes all wonky from drops but he was very thorough with his last visit of the day and I discovered that a) I'm not a high risk for glaucoma except for the family history b) I only need to have my pressure checked by the optometrist every two years or so c) yes my corneas are thicker so that may mean my pressure is not really high at all when the conversion is done d) many people develop glaucoma with a low pressure so it doesn't predict it e) my prescription is not correct in my bifocals and the lenses will have to be changed. Since I have been struggling with my $600 worth of glasses since I got them, this validated that it wasn't the recipient but the equipment. Now the negotiations with the optical company begin, this should be interesting.

I stopped and picked up a bike helmet at Canadian Tire on my return trip and it's a flashy red and white number to match my tuned up bike from last fall's bulletin board purchase. Should announce my arrival in the fog. Making it home at 7 p.m. with an 8 p.m. supper is getting to be a much too regular ritual.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A day of gifts

Well tomorrow is Friday and that as Martha Stewart would say 'is a good thing' as this week feels v-e-r-y long.

I've just finished making a couple of batches of muffins for a workplace session tomorrow which will hopefully put some closure to a tough situation of this week. And while I was at it I found strawberries in the fridge which had been forgotten (hard to believe that would happen but when there aren't four kids fighting over the berries and them lasting 30 seconds after they make it into the house it does) so I made sweet biscuits to go with those.

In between the cell phone has been ringing non stop and it appears the shore captain has his plate more than full tomorrow as he has three boats in and unloading beginning at 6 a.m. and another ready to go out. As I heard him leaving a voice mail message for someone I clarified that they were off to a fundamentalist church gathering for the week. So he continues to call and locates an employee of the plant he's purchased and when he gets off the phone, shaking his head mister says "he told me he was waiting to hear from the vet as he took his cat in today and they don't know what's wrong with it" So apparently different priorities than the man who just wants to get the fish out of boats and onto trucks. Mister was muttering that if the errant son (who had laid down on the bed at 7 p.m. after supper and has yet to resurface) had his trawl done then he could've helped etc. etc. as he made his way back to bed for the second time.

And of course the life partner is supposed to be meeting me at 1 p.m. to head to a wedding for a neighbour. Well, this girl is almost family as she babysat all four kids since she was 12 years old, traveled with us on vacations and has kept in touch, even helping daughter # 1 get set up out west. So, I (at least) am going to make see her married at White Point, regardless of work interruptions from WCB brass etc. as I will be leaving at the appointed hour. The plan B is that mister will join ys us in time for the reception at 5 p.m. I always feel bad when we've sent a reply card and a meal has been paid for when this (almost certain) bailout occurs. Of course he is at this point still saying "well I might make it for the wedding itself" Yeah right.

I had a voice mail which made me smile today when the western daughter left a message saying she had made it within five minutes of work when she realized was Thursday and she didn't start work until 10 a.m. so was two hours early! She headed back and watched TV until it was time to go in. How keen is that eh? There were a number of folks at work referring to Friday and complaining of a short weekend when they were referring to having Tuesday and having Wednesday off for a holiday.

I had all kinds of wonderful gifts today. When I opened the mailbox I found a package of shampoo samples which will be great for travel that I'd requested online and a wonderful scrapbook magazine. It's called Creating Keepsakes and is beautiful. I was thinking it was a sample, or in the wrong mailbox or something I'd requested and then it hit me....this was my Mothers Day gift which daughter # 1 had promised!!!! And to think there'll be one every month. The daughter tells me she has a copy too so we can discuss them. I reminded the gift giver that she and a teen friend used to get out the same magazines and go through them together over the phone about 10 years ago. Back in the day. And then I came in the (beautifully clean) house to find a quart of Vermont maple syrup on my counter from my summer neighbour (we haven't actually connected but have had a phone chat so we're getting closer). I do agree with the suggestions on the side of the jug except for over steamed rice and home fried potatoes.

Well, time to call it in as I haven't even looked at today's paper and a meal break would've been nice. Sigh. I'm reminded of the next on the list cruise partners email to advise that she had been called in and told she would be doing 1/2 of the job of a retiring employee in addition to her own position which is almost unmanageable to begin with. This was to warn that the cruising may be put on hold. Well, what with H1N1 rearing its ugly head, the talk of three flu shots for fall and all the other angst in the workplace that may be the case for the lecturer too. There will be other chances of course and we are both getting closer to retirement every moment.