Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I can't believe it's almost May!!!

Well another month is quickly coming to an end and I'm finding it hard to believe that time passes this quickly without me noticing it! Somehow I woke up and here it is...April 29th...BLAH!

Life just doesn't stop because you are tired..have you noticed that? WTF?!?!?

Stress levels have been at an all time high with all this planning of renovations. Last night at dinner Hubby made me laugh out loud when he looked at me and said....hmmm, I guess we need to get our mortgage renewed soon huh!... I honestly laughed out loud and shook my head. He's really cute, but he really doesn't pay attention. Honestly, I've been dealing with getting that and the renovations in order for over a month now. It's not that he didn't know. He just wasn't paying attention. Around our house these things just get taken care of!

BY ME!!!!

We had a lovely weekend past. The weather was fabulous. We had the Snowbirds (my Mom and Dad), home from their nest in the south, over for lunch on Sunday. That's always an enjoyable time. A chance for us to catch up on each other's lives and listen to the bantering between my parents on who's version of what happened, who did/said it etc is more correct. It's always in good fun and I can honestly say that I aspire to have that kind of relationship with Rob when we've been married for that many years....one of loving good spirited tolerance. LOL! Although my parents live down the street from us, a visit from them for a meal has in the past been a serious special occasion. One that sees the family scurrying around to make sure all the nooks and crannies are cleaned to perfection, every hair is in place and the meal must be pleasant to the palate and not to far from ordinary to meet my Dad's generally ordinary likes. This isn't because my parents care....cause I don't think they really do; BUT I DO! Don't tell the kids, but I use these occasions as an excuse to get everyone helping around the house at the same time. It generally works well and it gets done in record time. I've decided if they are agreeable that we're gonna do this more often but it's gonna have to be on Friday evenings in the future I think. The meals will have to more simple and the house less than perfect (because of work) but Sunday's just aren't going to work for us anymore. Brianne is working every Saturday and Sunday and Aimee and Rob have softball starting next Sunday. This is going to make the weekends jam packed. This year I'm making an effort to have them over more than 3 times!

We are starting to be able to sit in the backyard again and now all we do is dream about what it's gonna look like with our lovely new screened in porch, how our tired old bodies are gonna enjoy that hot tub!


I'm looking forward to May....are you?
Friday, April 25, 2008

Good Help is sooo hard to find!

Over the past few months we've been interviewing and gathering estimates from contractors for the renovations that we would like to begin May 2nd!

We've found a bathroom guy and we have tentatively booked him for the last week of June (that's the earliest he could start). He provided great references and he does great work. He really gave us a warm and fuzzy feeling right from the word go. He sat his 6'4" hulk on the side of the tub in my bathroom and gave me the bad news....likely mold behind the walls of the tub surround, floor rot from all the water damage, bad plumbing etc...and then he gave us some pretty excellent ideas...but I haven't heard back from him for sure on timing so...we'll keep looking for others.

Finding a good contractor for the deck....a little more difficult. We've got a ton of companies lined up to give estimates but nobody seems to be coming through very quickly. We even had one of the big guys (you know the guys with the orange aprons!!) come last week but we haven't seen the estimate yet...

I just want it to be done so I can be sitting in my patio, doing my crossword with hubby and relaxing in my hot tub!

Patio door gets installed on May 2nd and it's gonna look like this...

I'm excited about this. It's the first step and a good one at that!

We'll keep you posted! If I remember I'll even get some pictures of the progress and post it.

Weather is beautiful here....hope you are getting the same! Have a great weekend!
Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A love so great......

....that nothing could keep them apart.

My Oncle Ti-Blanc passed away on Thursday last week. Ti-Blanc had been battling his own health concerns when his wife was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and Tante Therese passed away 3 weeks ago. My mom said he had put aside his troubles to attend to his wife, to ensure that she was comfortable and happy in her last moments.

I can only surmise that once he had said goodbye to her that he realized that he didn't want to fight anymore....he really wanted to be with his greatest love.

My Mom's email to let me know said this and I think this says it all....

Oncle Ti-Blanc died last night. He was very sad with Therese's death. He was at the hospital and went fast and peacefully. I'm sure he is now with Therese and smiling at all of us.

My prayer's go out to the family that is left behind. It must be so painful to lose both your wonderful parents in such a short time!

"When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure."
Author Unknown
Friday, April 11, 2008

News from afar

Got an email the other day from one of my favorite Aunt's. It was just a quick email saying Hi and asking how we were doing. Nothing special you say....well I beg to differ! This to me is like sunshine on a cloudy day! You can't even imagine how happy I was to get even a little news from someone that was so special to me growing up.

I know I've talked about spending each summer with my Maternal Grandmother and all of my Aunts and Uncles and cousins. The memories of those summers sometimes overwhelm me! They are both good and SAD! Good because they were a time when our family was very close! Everyone hung out, camped, socialized together as a great big family unit. I remember going to Tante Diane and Oncle Roger's house in town and hanging out with their family. That's where I learned about putting vinegar on plain chips! My Oncle Roger had a wonderful deep laugh that always made me want to hug him. My Tante Diane always took away the feeling of homesickness! She has the best smile and a real strong hug!! Their girls were my two of my favorite cousins! Joanne and I were close in age and we got along well! Lissa was younger and she tagged along and she had a smile that just beamed! I don't know, maybe I was just young and this is how I saw it. It's sad now because I haven't had much communication with anyone in many years. In fact this is the first time I've heard directly from anyone in the family besides a few emailed jokes since my Maternal Grandmother passed away. I've gotten all of my news second hand from my Mom.

It was nice getting that email. It makes me want to plan a holiday up north...

I invited my Tante Diane to come visit me on my blog....so if you are reading this Tante Diane....I want to thank you for all of the wonderful memories!! My summers spent up north with all of you will be cherished memories forever! Je t'aime beaucoups!!
Monday, April 07, 2008

A Smile to Remember

$200 spent on clothes for the new job.....
$100 in earned wages.....
The joy of seeing the kid liking the job that I made her take....PRICELESS!

This weekend I sat on the sidelines and watched my baby successfully complete the first two days of her new position as a cashier. She came home both days with sore feet and a very satisfied smirk on her face. She likes her new boss, she likes the people that she works with and although the first day was scary...apparently things were sufficiently slow enough that she got a good hold on how things were done and on the second day they allowed her to answer phones and the traffic was such that she got a good feel for how things would be once things are busier. It seems that it may be successful for both employer and employee.

I'm excited for her that she likes her first job. Not everyone can say they liked their first job.
Thursday, April 03, 2008

Putting the Children to work!

I've taken the bull by the horns and used my skills as a human resource specialist (putting people to work skills) to put my youngest to work.

Our youngest daughter Brianne is 17. She's finishing her last year of high school and had very little life experience. She's a great girl and she's matured significantly in the last two years. Her little life experience has not prepared her to make the decision to on what she wants to do with her life. She therefore has decided to take a year off and get a job. This saddens me in some ways because I am very afraid that she will never go back and get the education that she will require to get a career and will always have just a job. I know that just having a job is not a way to really plan for the future. It's a difficult road that she is choosing and one that I will strive to make the potholes so big and ugly that she will want....no NEED....to go back to school.

Anyway, I'm still her Mom and I still love and cherish my little girl so I've asked a very good friend Neil to take my little one and put her to work for him. Neil is a great guy. She will be safe with him, but he's a difficult guy to read and the road won't always be easy for her! She will come home and tell me that he was being himself and I will help her through it. Although this job will start as a part time cashier's position...who knows, she may become interested, valuable to them and perhaps once she is out of school full time...well you never know. At the very minimum it will be experience.

On the home front, her wages will be free and clear until September when she will have to work full time and she then will have two choices to make. Choice #1) pay room and board of some predetermined amount or 2) put half of your earnings into savings for college and Mom and Dad will match it when you return to school. The choice will be hers. They won't be easy choices but the final decision will be hers.

Cause you know.....at our house NOBODY rides for FREE!
Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Helloooo! It's been a while!

Well hello there! It's been a while, I know, but damn I've been busy!!

Many things are happening in my neck of the woods. Work life is crazy (not much change there) and personal/home life has had an increased intensity in all aspects.

On the home front, this past month has had us, saying goodbye to dear friends and relatives (which is always difficult personally and for friends and family) and preparing a plan of action for impending home renovations that require a fine line between what do we WANT and what do we NEED and how do we decide which to go with.

Hubby and I decided that we wanted to make this the year that we get done those things around the house that need doing. So here it is in order of importance:

New Furnace- yup when we moved into the house 10 years ago they told us then the furnace owed us nothing....well it owes me lots now. 10 years of high natural gas bills cause of it's inefficiency. I figured out the annual savings will be approximately 40% on my utility bills by moving to a new more efficient furnace.

New Roof- it's not leaking but our neighbour wanted to do it last year and we put her off so probably best to get it done this year before we have problems.

New Washroom- we've got mold and mildew from past leaks that just doesn't seem to want to go away, rotted floors and drywall make this one a necessity. According to my good friend Colleen any $$'s I put into this will add value to the house if we ever sell (after this much work...I'm going NOWHERE!) This renovation scares me a bit. We're gonna lose use of our only complete washroom for the period of the renovation and the only company that has had outstanding references and good prices so far is quoting 2 weeks to complete!

New Patio door and screened back porch- okay this is where the "wants" come into play. For the months that encompass Spring, Summer and Fall you will find my family in our yard. We sit and talk, play games, do the morning crossword, have our meals, have campfires, entertain....well you get the point....we rarely leave the comfort of our yard and in fact many of our friends and our children's friends hang out with us during these months. We love our outdoor socializing and therefore we've justified turning this want into a need. We need to turn the unused space behind our house into a usable space that services us in all weather during these warm months. If funds permit we're gonna get us a hot tub as well. I have always wanted one for the relaxing elements and as I get older well I want it MORE!!!

So all this has led to many people coming through the house and providing estimates and references and all the stuff we need to help make our decision. The estimates and references have varied and frankly this whole process is very tiring. Good companies are hard to find but I'm starting to use the old woman's intuition on some of these guys and hubbies even getting good at reading people that know what they are talking vs. people that haven't got a clue.

So that's what we've been doing at our house.....what have you been up to?

Talk to me!