Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Back again and better than ever!!

I feel like I have so much to tell about the last year but where to start?  Well, let's start with the most important - PJ and I are the proud grandparents of a simply perfect baby girl!!  She is currently 4 days old and amazes me daily.  But let's go back a bit.  
Last spring, PJ and I finally decided that it was time to move on.   After 27 years, we fixed, cleaned, painted, downsized, decluttered and threw out.  Sometimes it was traumatizing, sometimes it was bittersweet, sometimes it was exhausting, but after several months of hard work, we put the house up on the market and started looking for something to move into.  We had already discussed the Fergus area, but we also liked the countryside of Amaranth and the wide open spaces north of Orangeville.  We looked at many places, more on the internet and were mostly disappointed, sometimes shocked, like the house where the dogs had chewed on the window sills !?!?, but mostly saddened at the prospect of not finding a place as nice as ours.  Then, as the old saying goes "It's always the last place you look", it really was.  PJ and I walked in the front door and were immediately taken with the open concept style.  We were happy at last.  It even had the same flooring in the laundry room as the old place - we took that as a sign.  We were fortunate to land the deal and the rest is history.  So, #1 event - new house.
Since we were moving in mid September, PJ thought it would be a great idea to have his family come over for Thanksgiving.  We had 16 adults, 2 kids and 3 dogs.  But it all went well.  Christmas was relatively quiet but nice.  Then the snow started and never stopped.  It snowed every day for about 6 weeks; sometimes just a flurry, sometimes several inches, but it was relentless.  The first day of spring could not come quickly enough.  Coco worked about an hour away til she was about a month away from her due date.  She was expecting wee Chloe at the end of March and she arrived on the 31st - yet another stormy day except freezing rain this time, rather than snow.  Still Mommy and Daddy did great with the help of our good friend and recent nursing graduate, Sarah K, who served as doula and all round cheerleader.  
Event # 2 - Tee's new job.  Having graduated from his college courses (with honours and perfect attendance!), he got a job teaching kids programming.  At times he finds it challenging but then he gets that one kid that is just "tuned in", the one who asks questions and wants to experiment with the coding.  That makes it worthwhile.  Although he is only doing part time hours currently, he will be doing full time this summer.  And of course, he is still doing his online tutorials "for fun".  Such a nerd.
I think that is all the excitement for today; stay tuned for the next installment.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Please hold...............

Oh, yes, it seems that we are still on hold for PJ's retirement funds.  He officially retired January 5 and has not yet seen one thin dime of pension money.  Thank goodness we have my investment money to dip into and also that he has been putting in a few hours work.  I'm not trying to say that we are destitute, far from it, but the man is entitled to his money and worked hard for many years for that benefit.  It is sad what hoops he must jump through to get what is rightfully his.  Oh, well, no point in crying about it; it will come eventually.
Tee is still doing exceptionally well at school.  After 10 courses, he is still maintaining honours average.  I could not be prouder of him.  PJ and I are so thankful that he has found something that truly moves him.
My gorgeous Coco celebrated her birthday yesterday.  I won't say how many years exactly, but I cannot believe it has been that many since that blustery cold morning in March that she was born.  It was a beautifully sunshiny but deceivingly cold day and I remember looking out the window and seeing the blue sky.  She did not come easily into this world; I was in labour for quite a while but that sweet little face and fantastic blue eyes were worth every second.  She was the apple of my father's eye - it was he who nicknamed her Katie.  Ironically from a commercial that he thought was cute.  He would sit and read the newspaper and rock her for hours.  I never saw him laugh as much or as often as when she would do something comical, which was pretty much anything in his adoring view.  
Saturday, Mar. 7:
PJ and Coco are on a mission today.  Coco's car was crashed on Sunday and there is good news and bad news.  The good news is that Big Daddy was the only one in the car - he had just dropped off the teenies, so thankfully they were not traumatized by the accident, and it was NOT his fault.  He was hit by a young man thinking that he could make a left turn quicker than he could.  Unfortunately, Big Daddy did sustain some neck and back injuries but he is okay for the most part.  The bad news is that although Coco was planning on buying something new this spring, this crash has just pushed that plan into motion a little sooner than expected.  PJ had intended on "helping" Coco with financing but since we are in a holding pattern, this is just the icing on the cake of craziness.  You know, sometimes you just have to deal with it all at once, so they are looking at some vehicles today in hopes of at least getting some ideas around prices and features.  We shall see what comes of it, so stay tuned on the "Coco's New Vehicle" project.  
And hopefully there will be some good news about PJ's retirement soon.  
Secretly, the only thing I am looking forward to right now is some lovely spring flowers budding.  Winter, go away, you are old and tired.  And take your snow with you!
Love from Lulu, xxxx

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

The End of An Era - Part 2

Although I initially wrote about PJ's retirement at the beginning of January, it was all just a sham.  Yes, it is true.  He lied to me.  The unraveling of his tale began with an innocuous phone call from his "friend" (and former supervisor), Wayne.  Oh, yes, he could come in to "help out" with one of his former accounts at the warehouse.  No problem.  Just a couple of hours.  No biggy.  Then he comes home from an innocent (?) trip to Tim's for a coffee with an announcement that not only had he met the big boss over there - he lives in our community - but also that he was offered 3 days a week!  They would put him back on the payroll......what????  OK, I admit that he hasn't actually gone back on the payroll........yet!  The further unraveling of this terrible travesty was when he was asked by the beautiful and talented financial advisor at our bank to get his retirement info so she could review it and advise us accordingly.  Well, it turns out that upon PJ's request to the company, he was told it would take "a couple of weeks" for him to get the paperwork.  That was mid January.  An email on February 12th to the person in charge of said paperwork then revealed that she had "just recieved" his details and would forward them to the investment firm handling the pension funds and he would likely hear from them guessed it......"a couple of weeks"!!  As an investigative journalist, I have taken all this evidence into consideration.  I think that this whole "retirement" scam is just a cover up for spending all MY money!  I know, I was shocked too!  I am beginning to think there is no real pension and he has just been teasing me with his talk of big money.  And how elaborate to actually have the big boss and the company finance person in on the scheme.  This must have taken months to orchestrate.  Oh, well, folks, there is the plain truth, but stayed tuned.  Who knows what will happen next?
On a brighter note, I have a brand new dishwasher in my kitchen.  PJ went shopping for it a while ago and found a great model that was on sale.  He bought it right there and then.  A week or so later, I suggested we stop in at the local Home Depot to have a look at hardware and countertops for my soon-to-be renovated kitchen.  While there, he was looking at the appliances and discovered one of the same model he bought.  No price tag but with an ever mysterious and tantalizing "Clearance" tag on it.  OH,my.  Sure enough it was $150 cheaper than the other store's price - mainly because it was a floor model.  He got the info and went back to the original store.  Oh, yes, they price match and also give a 10% DISCOUNT OVER THAT PRICE!!!!  What??  Ya, he is the king of shopping now.  So maybe I can forgive the whole retirement scam.
With love from Lulu xxx

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Back in the Day...

The cold weather is here and I am not happy.  Even being a native Canadian and growing up with the extreme weather changes that we experience from summer to winter, I still hate the cold.  I didn't always hate the cold.  I remember as a kid toboganning down the hill on the other side of the park behind our house with all my friends.  We would stay out til either or hands and feet were numb or our mitts got wet - this, of course, was a direct result of throwing snow balls at eachother or generally just diving into the snow drifts.  As a matter of fact, no one "went in" til one of those conditions was present or you were labelled a baby.  And if somebody's mom called them, well, that was just the icing on the humiliation cake.  This was of course decades before video games, internet and electronic devices.  If we were bored, we had 2 choices: play indoors or play outdoors.  And just because it was snowing and -10 didn't deter the latter.  Of course, those were also the 2 choices we had in the summer as well.  The difference being that the limitation of going "in" time was the street lights.  Once they came on, everybody went home.  Cuz everybody's moms all had the same rule.  Life was a lot simpler back then.  We all had the same family experiences, except some were bigger families than others, but the economics, traditions and day to day existence was pretty much the same.  We all went to the same school and our mom's all shopped at the same department stores.  There was no status difference.  Nobody wore brand name clothes or shoes.  Nobody had the state of the art electronics, kitchen appliance or fashion accessory.  All the girls played Barbies - one friend's mom used to knit Barbie clothes for her so we always wanted to see the new outfits her mom had made.  All the boys played street hockey (summer and winter) screeching the infamous "car" when the game was interrupted by someone actually wanting to drive down the street (?!?! - the nerve!).  Some of the girls were invited to play street hockey in order to make up enough team members but once the other boys came out, we were uninvited very quickly.  It was common to have moms and dads sitting outside on their porches to get a breath of cool air on a summer evening (cuz no one had air conditioning - that was for the rich folk) and no one dared misbehave cuz everybody's mom or dad would give you "the treatment" whether you belonged to them or not.  Looking back it was a pretty good life back then.  But I guess you don't appreciate what you've got til it's gone, right?  I don't want to end this on a negative note, so I will say that my life now is great and I would not change a thing, but how fun would it be to just spend one day back in the 60's?  No dishwasher, no cell phone, no Xbox, no cable TV.  Wait....... maybe I'm changing my mind.  LOL
Love from Lulu, xoxo

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

The Year in Review

So, it seems I have a few things to bring everyone up to speed on.  I will go in order of family member so as not to confuse things.
Tee - Upon not returning to his construction work job after the new year, he fell into a dispatching job for a trucking company.  The company is owned by a former work associate of PJ, who happened to mention that he was looking for someone.  PJ offered that, although Tee had never done dispatching, he is a quick learner and would likely want to have a go, if the company was willing.  The owner hired Tee but unfortunately, with his inexperience, he was let go just a few months in.  It was on good terms, however, and the owner and his wife, who had taken a liking to Tee, wished him well and gave him a generous severance.  Tee applied for UI and lived on that for a bit but one day when PJ and I were at the local mall, we saw a booth for one of the techy colleges in the area.  We picked up a brochure and as they say, the rest is history.  Tee looked into it and was immediately drawn to the Video Game Design and Development degree.  He began the process of registering and getting a student loan (thank God) and was successful in being approved for the degree courses.  He began in July and has completed 5 courses at this point - all with honours grades.  His committment to this is staggering, spending hours every night doing homework and determined to maintain his honours marks, even through Mechanical and Engineering Calculus!  Needless to say, PJ and I are ecstatic as is big sis, Coco.  Obviously, I will keep everyone up to date on Tee's progress.  Let's just say, from high school drop out to honours college student is a dream come true for this mom.
Coco - So Coco and Big Daddy found a sweet little basement apartment that is perfect for them.  They have 2 bedrooms for when the children are there and the landlords live upstairs - a lovely young couple with 2 kids.  No news on the wedding front but I think that financial woes are taking precedence there.  Either way, they are very happy with their own place and Big Daddy has become somewhat of a gourmet cook, surprising Coco with dinner delights now and then.  They were very excited to host their first annual Christmas eve party as well, this year, which was great fun.  It was so nice to see the children again since we had not for a little while, what with the busy season upon us.  And we had numerous treats and a visit with Big Daddy's big daddy!  LOL
PJ - Well, of course the biggest news there has already been broken - the final retirement date!  He has a lot of plans for retirement too.  Not the least of which is some renovations of the house.  I have been "pinning" a lot of ideas and would like to get some started soon, so I may have pics for you, to break up my droning text.  Haha, we will see.  

Buddy - Who, you say???  Our latest addition to the family.  Budinski, Mr. Poohead or Monster, just a few of his nick names.  Back at the end of June, a family up the street from us offered him to a good home since they were moving and could not take him with them.  It is a little more complicated than just that, but suffice to say that Tee and I went to see him and could not let him go.  He is a 4 year old Bishon Fris / Yorkshire Terrier mix.  He weighs about 12 pounds and is a little ball of love.  He is excited to see everyone who visits and greets them as if they were coming to see him.  He loves "walkies" with PJ and has a big best friend next door - Rusty, our neighbour's golden retriever.  When we sit out on the deck in the summer, he MUST sit on my lap (which has produced a fair share of bruises with his bony little bum).  He also is a great supporter of death by licking.  He will lick you til the cows come home.  Not to fear, we still have Kitboo, the little princess.  They have their moments but he actually "smiles" at her every now and then.  I will try to get a pic of that too!
So now you have all the news, I think.  If there is anything I have omitted, I am sure Coco will remind me.  She says she follows this blog.  See you all soon.
Love from Lulu, xxxx 

Saturday, 27 December 2014

The End of An Era!

Well, hello, all and Season's Greetings to you!  Merry Christmas seems trite now, since it is already the 27th, so I will say hope you had a very Merry Christmas this year and I look forward to a Happy New Year for everyone.  I realize and apologize for not being diligent in keeping up my blog this year, but I would like to try to keep things going in the coming year.  Perhaps not every day, perhaps once or twice a week or even a month, but at least something a little more timely.  Again, forgive me, and I hope that you will join me this year, when you have time.  And please feel free to send me comments; I love to hear from everyone!
Yes, it is the end of an era!  At least in this house.  The 4:00 am alarms and nightly lunch preparations are over.  PJ has officially retired.  It has been a long time coming and several dates were bandied about before the Company would finally let him go.  The original date was the end of October, but that was pushed back to accommodate the closing of his building at the end of November / beginning of December.  That date was then pushed back as the Company was making early retirement package offers to many of the old timers (due to the contract expiration of a very large and long term client causing a considerable lay off for the newer employees) and had come to an agreement of January 15.  Since PJ had holidays owed to him, his official retirement date will be January 5th.  That is the day that he is supposed to sign his life away for the final time.  (A friend joked that he should take a body guard with him just in case they were going to kidnap him until another "pushed back" date in the future.)  And so, my friends, it has been almost 40 years that he has been a working stiff.  Now you must know what that means.  How is he going to keep himself occupied through these endless carefree days and months?  Funny, you should ask.  He already has a list in his head that he has shared with me on many occasions, editing and reconfiguring it over and over.  I know that volunteering some time at our church is important to him and there is always something to be done in the maintenance of the buildings and property.  I also have him on record committing to painting several rooms in our house; a job he detests but has promised to do.  He also wants to do some finishing in the basement to create a nice play area for the grandchildren when they come to visit and fixing up Tee's space - his bedroom is in the basement and he would also like an adjoining work / office area for his new endeavours (to be elaborated upon in an upcoming entry.  Haha, stay tuned!).  He is also talking about going to a gym periodically (again, another upcoming entry).  The summer will be filled with BBQs and friends visiting and pool time, hopefully, as well as gardening and general upkeep of the property.  But winter is another story.  I can only hope that Mother Nature is not too harsh to us this January and February and that by March he will have lots of preparations to keep him occupied for the coming summer.  Some of his work mates are also retiring so there will likely be a cronies date periodically so they can all get together and chirp about how happy they are not to be working for the Company anymore.  LOL  And PJ's work wife, the beautiful Momo and her man, John have invited us to their new digs on the waterfront in Fort Erie - can't wait to see them and the new place. 
All in all, it will defo be a change for all of us.  I have already told him that he needn't be hanging around the house all day.  After all, I have my "routines", and I don't need PJ staring at me with boredom in his eyes.  Hahaha  So I will make sure to let you all know how things are progressing, but in the mean time there is so many other things to talk about, so stop in now and then.  I would love to hear from you.
With love from Lulu, xxxx   

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Catching Up

Hi again, everyone; I have been absent for a while and have only recently felt the urge to start writing again.  Since posting last summer, we have had many events in our lives.  
PJ decided not to retire but to continue working.  We talked about it for a very long time and he is just not ready to leave a job he has had for almost 40 years.  Sadly, his most recent building closed unexpectedly so he has had to move to another building.  The management have been less than honourable about the move and have given PJ a lot of grief about where he can move to (the company has several buildings but not all of them are under the union, which PJ is a member of) and what position.  It has been very stressful and he decided to see the doc about taking some time off.  The doc agreed and he will be out til at least the beginning of May.  This is the best thing for him right now because I think it will give him a breather and a chance to decide what to do next.  He has never had a lot of time off to just relax and has been consumed with work, especially the last few years that he was running the last building.  He has always felt a sense of pride in doing a good job for the company and was truly a workaholic so this leave will slow him down a little - something he needs right now!
Tee was laid off his job in construction in January and was jobless for a while.  He becomes frustrated when not working plus the fact that he has bills to pay, so needless to say, I was happy when he landed a new job.  PJ has friends everywhere and was talking to one recently who has a trucking business.  He asked how things were going to which his friend replied, "I'm in need of a dispatcher."  PJ told him that Tee was out of work but had never done dispatching.  After assuring his friend that there were no expectations in hiring Tee, his friend invited Tee for an interview.  All went well and he is now learning as he goes.  It is a very small family run company and apparently the boss is a bit of a blustery wind that blows through and the missus has to sweep up afterward.  Fortunately for Tee, the missus likes him and keeps the boss at bay.  LOL  We are all hoping that this is a real career maker for Tee; he has had so many jobs in the past and PJ and I want to see him land somewhere with something that he enjoys doing.  So far, so good.  Tee likes the people he is working with and he is picking up the job very quickly and the missus is very happy with his work - she, essentially, runs the office.  Mr. Bluster just makes the deals and quotes the jobs.  So it seems like he is okay for now.  Keep your fingers crossed.  
The biggest news in the family was with Coco!  Big Daddy proposed at her birthday dinner!  It was all very sweet and romantic.  Big Daddy took her out for dinner and presented a gift that was a locket.  But what was inside?  A note asking her to marry him!  OMG, again, too cute for words.  He had the ring as well (although I don't think he did the one knee thing) to make the perfect night.  We are all very happy about this as PJ gets a golf partner, Tee gets a brother, I get a handy man and well, Coco gets a husband.  Big Daddy also comes as a package deal with a 7 year old daughter and a 5 year old son.  So PJ and I also get built in grandkids!  I would say we all win.  HAHAHAHA

Love from Lulu xxxx