I’m Getting Three Birthday Parties

Tonight I’m off to a birthday party for lil’ol’ me at my friend Petra’s in Westbank, then on Saturday mom’s having a party out on her lovely deck for me, and then Sunday there’s a family gathering over here at my house to celebrate my momentous birth.

It just happened that way, and especially since its not an important number it seems unnecessary, but I’ll take it.  You know how I love to have the opportunity to cater an event, so Saturday I’ll be making dinner for twelve, and Sunday it’s for eight people.

Most people laugh nervously when I tell them I’m cooking for my birthday, but they don’t know how much joy it is for me to browse the web for interesting recipes.  Our pal Jim’s coming from Vancouver on Friday and I’m going to try out buffalo chicken wing lasagna on us.

Poor Louie still has to stay in Kelowna with Frieda when I go to Osoyoos as the latter animal’s just too dirty for mom’s wall to wall carpets.  I don’t think it hurts them as Nicky and Ayumi are downstairs, and they’re in their own environment so they just have to chill out until I return.

I was within a hair’s breadth of hiring a dog behaviourist for Frieda, as she made no connection between going to the bathroom outside or inside.  I fully recognize this isn’t her fault, given she was tossed into a kennel situation at maybe eight or ten weeks of age.

The person I bought her from breeds miniature dachshunds and was going to use Frieda for that purpose, but she turned out to be the wrong size for the breeder.  Or so the story goes.  In any case, she was never taught a thing, and so it’s been an uphill battle.  Finally, after three months, she’s slowly turning the corner and learning something.

Unfortunately she’s a very small animal, no bigger than a cat, and black, so she’s hard to see at night.  Though not for an owl or hawk, I imagine.

Margaret and I were out and about for a staycation, and went to Vernon to have lunch at Sparkling Hill Resort which is a beautiful setting.  Nice food, but we were the only guests in the dining room, which would make it quite hard to break even with three staff in front and at least that many cooking in the back.

We also had a nice outing to the south, stopping at Zia’s Stonehouse Restaurant in Summerland for lunch, then onto the Naramata bench for wine tastings at Lang and Black Widow wineries.  The weather was lovely for it, sunny and warm.

I took Ayumi for lunch at the Eldorado and we sat lakeside which is so lovely.  Then a couple of days ago I met Kathy at Smack Dab for their Happy Hour.  I was thrilled to find a two-ounce cocktail for $8.00.

And so the life of the retired person in the Age of Covid continues pretty much as before.  Only now I dye my own hair, and trust me when it says to discard the mixture as it will explode, it will!  Who knew?

A Return to Normalcy at Last

With the opening of more businesses, life’s gotten a lot closer to normal.  I can see my chiropractor again, and also had a Reiki treatment and a haircut, all of which were hopeful signs of normalcy.

I had the Crones as I affectionately like to call them for a Happy Hour.  There are five of us in total, and it’s a lot of fun making several little appies and then of course monstrously large Margaritas made with two ounces of Cazadores tequila and an ounce of Grand Marnier.

I also had a barbecue on one of the few half decent days we’ve had in June which was attended by family and a couple of outside guests.  I think there were ten of us in all so that meant lashings of potato and pasta salad as well as thick burgers and smokies.

Last Tuesday, joy of joys, Elsa and I went to thrift stores for the first time in three months.  She’s from Mexico so browsing is in her blood.  Because we’d been deprived for so long, we spent three hours in just two stores, the Salvation Army and the Mennonite Thrift Store.

Only so many people are allowed into the stores at a time, so imagine the consternation of anyone following Elsa and me in the line up.

I found a boxed set of Beatles-themed drinking glasses and a triple strand pearl necklace that I’d been searching for since seeing The Crown.  Have you noticed how the Queen always wore a triple strand?  I looked for that for so damned long, and then there it was.

Another thing I’ve looked for for years, and then gave up and bought new, is the DVD of Home Alone.  Imagine my consternation to find not just one but two of them in the Salvation Army.   Too late for me but someone was going to see that and swoon.

One can’t try anything on, and the bathrooms are closed, so three hours is probably the maximum for my bladder anyway.  I fail to see how a virus is going to live on fabric when all of us in the thrift store are picking stuff up and putting it down all the time.

We can now bring our own bags to the grocery stores which is great because I was getting totally backed up on plastic bags.  Is it 2030 when there’ll be more plastic in the oceans than fish?  I hope all of that was worth it.

I drove to Osoyoos on Friday and had a divine lunch with my childhood pals Phyllis and Mary at Phyll’s house.  She made a Thai noodle and chicken salad, with a trifle for dessert and all of it was delicious.  We sat outside which was a bonus as June’s been the pits here in Kelowna.

The good thing about the damp weather is there won’t be forest fires and hence no smoke filling the valley.  If we could just get some sun it could turn out to be a half decent summer after all.

Freddie

I’m sad to say my only sibling, my dear brother Freddie, died just a few hours before his 74th birthday.  This Saturday mom’s going to have a wake for him at her house, and as per Dr. Bonnie Henry’s recommendations, will have under 50 people.  Actually, there’ll be around 35 and it’ll be outside so people can stand apart.

I had a long time to prepare myself, so that helped a bit, but it’s still terrible to lose a sibling.  I knew after visiting him last year in June that his health was in serious trouble, and indeed, he continued to go downhill from there.

Freddie was eight years older than me, so I have very little memory of him when I was small.  I recall when he left for university I was ten, and I built him a lightning rod as I knew Vancouver was a rainy place.  I suppose I must’ve thought rain meant lightning.

When I was around 15, he and his wife Wendy, nicknamed Twig, moved to Oliver and I was thrilled as they were hippies which gave me a certain cache.  I recall one night in grade eleven they let me use their house for a small party while they went over to their friends’ place.  Unsupervised teens!  Those were great times.

I loved the smell of their house, which was pure incense, and it was totally decked out in macramé, beaded curtains, mattresses and pillows on the floor for furniture, and a large hookah in the living room.  I often think of the poster they had on the wall of George Harrison and Patti Boyd.  It said “See all without looking.  Arrive without travelling.”

I think you’re getting the idea of the thrill a cool older brother like that was.  I recall when he was 16 he was driving our mom nuts as he had the waterfall hairdo in front, and the duck tail in back, and mom would scream at him that he looked like a “hood.”

Freddie and Twig left Oliver and moved to the Pitt River in Coquitlam when I was also living at the Coast and attending university.  I adored Sundays when I would drive out, either alone or with a boyfriend to spend the day.  They rented a house there for 30 years for which they paid $75 a month rent.

After deciding to buy a house they found a lovely property on Whonnock Lake in Maple Ridge which came with an above-ground pool.  Freddie said when they saw it they went ugh to the idea of a pool but since have grown to love it.  I adore visiting there because Freddie liked to keep the pool at 90 degrees Fahrenheit.  So comfy!

Freddie just loved their house and property, and who wouldn’t, as you don’t see a single house, given there are only four homes around that lake.  It’s also on two acres so it’s completely private.  Some of his ashes will be scattered there.

About an hour ago I stepped on a wasp in my bare feet and had my middle toe stung and thought my God the pain of that is just terrible.  But it’s so fleeting compared to the pain of loss and grieving, as it comes in waves, and hits unexpectedly.  However, knowing Freddie, the coolest human on Earth, he’d beg us all to chill out and carry on.

New Skills and Habits

I can thank my hairdresser for this, as I now know how to dye my own hair!  Isn’t that amazing?  A couple of my friends told me their hairdressers have sold them their individual hair colours from the salon, so I e mailed mine and said do you do that, too?  She replied she didn’t, so I had to bravely learn something new.

So now Miss Clairol Nice N Easy light blonde it is.  I got advice from six feet away from a nice customer service woman in the drug store who told me exactly what to do.  I said do I need one of those flat brushes or clips to part the hair, and she scoffed saying you don’t need any of that.  And indeed I didn’t as I got rid of the nasty gray roots.

Here’s another beauty enhancement story of a different kind.  Nicky, his partner and their baby were out for a walk when they stopped to chat with a neighbour.  Nicky said the neighbour pointed out an ingrown hair which caused a pimple and bam! Before Nicky could think the neighbour popped the pimple for him.

I said oh my God that’s a person not overly worried about physical distancing.  And speaking of which, I’ve developed a nice habit of going for hour-long walks with friends along the Mission Creek Greenway.  That way we visit and catch up while exercising and getting fresh air.  I hope we continue once this is over as that’s a good thing to do.

The other day on a bench Marie pointed out a sticker which had said Trump 2020 and someone had scratched off the T.  I said Rump 2020 sounds about right.

Poor Shaw Cable.  The other day my phone was dead so I used the live chat and explained the situation.  I had three different people over an hour, and none could help so I gave up after giving them supreme hell.  I then went to the where the phone’s plugged in and saw Frieda had chewed the cord.  Off to Best Buy for a new one.

After one of the walks Margaret came over to sit out in the sun room for a drink, and then Luke and Jan came by as she needed help to apply for a government grant on-line.  During the visit Luke explained his plan to sell his condo and then he and Jan will move into Denis’ tiny house.

It was so hilarious as of course Jan is totally aghast and I don’t blame her as that’s a very small house for three people.  There’s one bathroom and a second dumpy bedroom in the basement which Denis is allegedly voluntarily going to move into!  Who does stuff like that?  Why?

But here’s a great situation for developing a script.  A millennial gamer and his Thai wife move into a little old house with the gamer’s dad, only to find nothing but strife and hilarity ensues.  I’m hoping it’ll happen as at times one needs a bit of a chuckle.

And maybe it’s because Nicky lives in my basement that Luke thought hey I wanna live with a parent, too.  Who would know what’s in these kids’ minds?

My latest skill has been to grow bedding plants from seeds, and again, thank you Covid 19 for making me want to avoid lining up to both enter and exit a store.  It’s funny but it turns out there are few things I want that badly.  Hopefully that’ll last, too.

Life’s Events

One thing I knew for sure was I didn’t want a female, miniature, long haired dachshund, and that’s exactly what Frieda is.  When I wanted to have kids, I always wanted two girls, and instead got two boys, so life’s funny that way isn’t it?  Ya just never know what’s gonna happen next.

Now, however a terrible sadness has descended as my only brother, dear Freddie, is dying, and so it’s horrible to deal with that, and especially during this corona virus business.

Frieda’s job, besides being the female namesake of Freddie, is to divert us all and bring dachshund joy into the day.  So far, the diversion part is working great as she makes puddles and piles of crap anywhere and everywhere, so one is always walking around in fear.

And the joy is definitely there as she and Louie will do that adorable wrestling over the same toy where they each have an end of it and are doing a tug of war, growling.  She also does cute stuff like gently bite my nose, however that’s less adorable after I’ve seen her helping herself to one of the cats’ turds.

Social distancing is all well and good, however I’ve been able t o stay current with friends by making dates to meet and walk along the Mission Creek Greenway.  We walk half an hour each way, get caught up, and go home satiated.

In the last blog I’d mused perhaps I’d killed my dahlias by putting them into the greenhouse too early and indeed, maybe half of them show no signs of life.  But I got a bunch more from my friend Lynne in Osoyoos and hope to have a grand showing of them this summer.

My cousin was going to come from Germany this July, and now I suppose that’s off.  I can’t imagine the stress of people who’ve booked halls for weddings or family reunions.  It’d be wonderful to have a crystal ball to see when all of this will finally and mercifully end.

The one positive thing about this is you can phone a friend at any time, and guess what, they’re home and are free.  Though in Kelowna the weather’s very nice and I’ve been spending more time out in the yard as the sun’s lovely and rejuvenating.

We’re told to head out into the fresh air, and I think it’s good advice.  Yesterday Nicky said do you hear the frogs down in the pond?  He also pointed out the interesting sounds a crow was making in the tree as he worked.  Nature helps at these times.

Because when you look around you see the trees don’t give a rat’s ass about covid 19, they’re sprouting leaves and blooming away.  The dandelions are starting to dot the lawns, and my apricot tree has the usual sparse blooms indicating another disastrous year of apricot growing.

As we know, some things are predictable, and others aren’t, and so we have to try to be brave and roll with the punches.

Covid Puppy

I guess the destruction from the two cats and one dog wasn’t enough, as I now find myself the owner of a small female dachshund puppy which I named Frieda.  I’m pretty sure you’re well-aware of my total lack of impulse control by now, so this probably isn’t coming as any kind of a surprise.  When the world goes to Hell, I buy a puppy.

Louie is now seven, very overweight and sedentary, so I thought what better way to exercise the dog than to get a little companion for him.  It turns out, however, that Frieda is quite content to lay on the dog bed with Louie, so now I have two sedentary animals in my home.

To her credit, when I go out with them, Frieda likes to run around and act like the five- month-old puppy that she is.  However, despite being that age, she then runs into the house and does her business.  She appears to have no clear understanding of how the outside, not the inside, is the bathroom for dogs.

The cats are extremely angry over the new interloper because she’s already learned from Louie to bark at them when they come or go through the pet door.  George made short work of her puppy stunts as all of a sudden I heard her yelping and realized he must’ve given Frieda a swipe.  After that she kept her distance.

But I suppose by the time all of this Covid 19 stuff ends, a lot of people will have had their lives altered in major ways.  If all that happens is that I’m saddled with an overly small dachshund for the next fifteen years, I’ll consider myself fortunate.

I feel so bad for small business owners and their employees right now.  And I hate thinking about the poor people dying alone in hospitals or seniors’ homes.  Whenever I go to the grocery store I think of how brave it is for the people to come to work every day.  Unlike healthcare workers, they didn’t sign up for this level of danger.

I pray we can educate palates to eschew foods such as bats, rats and pangolins. And like everyone else going nuts at home, I also hope that at some point this whole shut-down will end sooner rather than later.

And then when it does end, we have to wonder what the Bay, Holt Renfrew, Winners, and all small retailers in malls will do with their out of season clothing.  I imagine it all has to go into the landfills, along with the plastic bags we’re all using when we get groceries.  The pollution from the waste after this ends will be immense.

I’m fortunate I have the kids in the basement as I can cook and bake for them, as well as for my old mom.  For myself I research and make a lot of keto dessert items as I don’t want to emerge from this thing a hundred pounds heavier than I already am.  You’d be surprised at how decent keto marshmallows actually are.

I may have killed my dahlias as I put them into pots and into the greenhouse about two weeks ago, and it’s been really cold at night, so I wonder if they’re going to make it.  Why I do these things, I do not know, other than to go back to the original premise that I have zero impulse control.

Scene from a Horror Movie

The scene from a horror movie isn’t anything to do with Covid 19.  No, it’s a description provided by my son Nick when I called him upstairs to show him what the cat had done.  I was in Osoyoos bringing food to mom and cleaning her house, and returned to a note from him saying the cat had crapped on the living room floor.

This in itself was somewhat surprising in that the cats use a cat door to let themselves in and out.  I cleaned that, and went into the hall to enter the bathroom to wash my hands when I encountered a huge pile of feathers that just got larger inside the bathroom.

I followed the trail to the toilet where to my shock and horror I saw a large Stellar’s jay sitting in it, and I couldn’t tell if it was alive or dead.  I called Nick and he came up and looked at it and we both left the bathroom and decided we had to think.  That’s when he said “Wow that’s just like a scene from a horror movie.”

He got his garbage pick-up stick for me, though he was too scared to do anything further, so I prodded the bird, and to my relief, it was dead, so I could lift it out, dripping, and put it into a garbage bag.  I then had to vacuum and clean and vacuum and clean and felt murderous toward the cat.

George came in meowing super loud, as he likes to do, and so I went downstairs and gave him a can of food.  He ate it, came upstairs, jumped on the dining room table and threw up the can of food onto the tablecloth.

But ya know, this is exactly the type of activity one should thank God for as it’s a distraction from all the hysteria around Covid 19.  Though I have to say, as a retired person whose motto is the same as Greta Garbo’s, “I vant to be alone” I haven’t noticed a lot of difference in my life other than the inconvenience.

And as a senior, I can’t even complain much about that as we get to the front of any line at the grocery store if there between 7:00 and 8:00 AM.  As someone who’s routinely awake by 6:00, this is easy to do.

I’m quite pleased at the amount of tequila I managed to stockpile, as even though liquor stores have mercifully been deemed an essential service, the line-ups are annoying and to be avoided.  I wonder if they’d let us old folks in there early too.

Yoga with Adrienne on You Tube’s very good for the mind and body so I do that for half an hour a day, and recently I started to do some gardening.  I got out one of my boxes of dahlia bulbs and put them into pots in the greenhouse as I always like to have blooms by June.

And then I read an article in the Globe about a trashy low-brow embarrassing reality TV show on Netflix called Love is Blind, so immediately tuned in and just loved it.  Now that’s what I call entertainment.  Can you imagine exposing yourself to the entire world like that?  Fun!

And then today when I came home with the groceries I went to the bathroom and came out to find Louie had picked up the carton of eggs and had chewed off the top and was about to bite into his first one when I stopped him.  Another wonderful moment of distraction from Armageddon.

Cooking like a Fiend

Because all the kids can do is take care of their baby, and as they live in my basement, I’ve been providing meals to them.  I was a bit rusty at first, as I’ve become quite used to cooking for one.  However now I’m back in the swing of it, and am knocking out daily dinners.

I’ll give you an example of a common dinner I might make.  Yesterday I made them pork chops which are baked in a combo of onion soup mix and whipping cream.  Today they’re getting spaghetti and meat sauce.  So it’s not a gourmet experience, but they seem to like it as they wolf it all down without a complaint.

Tap dance classes started again, so I’m back at it.  I figure if I take the set of six beginner lessons about 75 times, I should be ready for the intermediate level classes.  Not sure though, as sometimes I’m just making the steps up as I have no idea what my feet are actually supposed to be doing.

Mom came to Kelowna and we celebrated her 95th birthday and she inspected the baby, her fifth great grandchild, and declared him adorable.  She also approved of his name, Justin, because as you know we’re staunch Liberals.  We really take our politics seriously in this family.

Besides cooking for the tenants in the basement I continue to cook for mom.   So as you can probably imagine, a large part of my life is filled with getting groceries, preparing meals, and cleaning the dishes.  And then for fun, I like to bake or try keto recipes so a lot of it is my own fault.

I came home from Mexico at a decent weight, and have gained five pounds from all the social events I’ve attended.  I had lunch out with a couple of people, then dinner at another friend’s, then met a pal for happy hour and on and on with bad food.

As with the kids’ meals, nothing chi chi in my social engagements either.  There are just a lot of fries involved.  When I’m at home, I eschew carbs and try to eat in a healthy manner.  However when I’m out, I go completely berserk and eat all of the bread and other starch on which I can get my chubby mitts.

I hope to spend the next few days on a purely keto diet, then Thursday it’s back to mom’s and of course that means all the mashed potatoes and gravy, followed by a custard pudding that I can hold.

And they say nicotine is the most addictive substance.  I find carbohydrates very difficult to avoid, however I have to try as otherwise one blorps out in old age and it’s not attractive.  Not that anything about aging is, but one tries.

And now spring looms, and along with that all of the winter gardening mess has to be cleaned up.  I had the walnut and apricot trees pruned, and now have to cut down last year’s grasses and other perennials left to go to seed for the birds.

I feed the birds on top of the recycling container, but the cats now take turns jumping up and sitting right on the seed.  They must imagine themselves invisible.

Back from the Yucatan

The trip started in the usual way:  I could neither open my car door nor roll down the window to pay at the toll booth on the highway between Cancun and Valladolid.  How to exit the vehicle wasn’t a question that was top of mind as we hopped into our rental car and sped off.

After discovering how to open the door, I was wedged tightly between the booth and my car as I’d been planning to hand the money out the window.  Somehow I was able to give the laughing man some bills, got change, and scraped my way back into the car and we drove off, shaken.

When we arrived at our little Air BNB house in Valladolid, we inspected the car and were able to locate the buttons that allow one to open and close windows, and exit the vehicle at will.

Margaret and I were in Valladolid for two nights last year, and this year we stayed for six.  We were lost walking every day, and one day lost the car and I was sure we’d never find it again.  Traipsing up and down streets in 30 degree heat and humidity is tiring.

But you know we love the heat and sun, especially in February, and the weather was great every day.  To get out of the heat, we toured a chocolate museum and an ancient convent, ate at nice restaurants, and wandered through a 16,000 square foot private home turned into a museum filled with Mexican folk art.

One day we drove all the way to Rio Lagartos which is on the Gulf of Mexico, thinking we might see flamingos.  Then we learned it’s another three-hour boat trip from there to the lake where one might see them, and due to the cold wind that day, we said no thanks.

By then we were already cornered by one of the tour operators, and so to placate everyone, we ate in their chilly restaurant.  It had a palapa roof, so it was in the shade with a whipping wind, and to make matters even worse, their margaritas stunk.  The final insult was a small white female dog being assaulted right beside us by a large brown male dog.

We took another road trip to the beach at Akumal, and had lunch at the Beached Bikini Bar which we both love so much.  If you like good food and drinks with your feet plunged deeply into white sad, this is the place for you.

On the way home we were hosed at the Pemex in downtown Tulum, then read about it on Trip Advisor, but too late.  If you’re ever in a rental car in Tulum, don’t stop for gas there, as they will cheat you.  That’s the only time in three years of visiting Mexico that we were ever fleeced.

We visited a beautiful cenote just outside Valladolid in the small village of Chichimila and were the only people there at first, then were joined by three young people and a dog, all of whom jumped right in.

After six days in the state of Yucatan, it was time for our next stint in Quintana Roo on the island of Holbox.  The island doesn’t permit vehicles so we drove to the ferry dock and parked in one of the many parking lots there.  This turned out to be very easy to do, the only handicap being the amount of luggage and bags.

Margaret and I enjoy shopping so we usually arrive home with extremely heavy suitcases.  But we’d read there’s not a lot of shopping on Holbox food-wise, so we also had groceries with us from the house in Valladolid.

We took the small ferry which came with live entertainment.  A nice Mexican fellow sang several songs, then came around with his hat.   After twenty minutes we arrived in Holbox, and hopped onto a golf cart taxi which drove us to our first Air BNB, a cute second-floor apartment very close to the little village.

The owner’s dad lives on the ground floor and feeds dry cat food to the raccoons.  We saw a lot of them prowling around the edge of the swimming pool in the evening.   I didn’t mind them as we live with raccoons around this house, but the people from Massachusetts renting a ground-floor suite weren’t all that thrilled with them.

It turns out if you want to cook you must buy most of your ingredients at the equivalent of a 7-11.  This is what led to the tostadas.  We found a package of those, and managed to find lettuce, an onion and some tomatoes, plus a can of refried beans.  I was therefore able to make some type of dinner with that.  Several dinners.

To get fresh fish from the fishermen, one must be at the dock at 8:00 AM, and despite always being awake at that hour, we were never in the mood to be dressed and downtown by then.

The little village is stocked to the brim with cute Mexican stuff, and Margaret finally bought a set of pillow cases after three days of haranguing around with the shop owner.  She’s a fierce tiny woman with a four year old girl and twin boys of about 18 months who she nurses on the couch in her store.

Besides being adorable, the town is filled with nice restaurants so we always had a delicious lunch out, and on our last night we tried the lobster pizza for dinner, and it was good.

We moved to the point called Punta Coca for our last three nights, and stayed in a solar-powdered free-standing little house just a stone’s throw from the white-sand covered beach.  Of course it has a solid, wooden roof, but on top of that they’ve added the cute palapa for appearances.

An iguana family lives up there, and so Margaret couldn’t sleep the first night, I guess imagining them busting through the wooden roof into the loft bedroom and going for the jugular.  We switched rooms and I then slept like a log up there for the last two nights.

The three days on beautiful Punta Coco flew by with days of collecting shells on the beach, swimming, having lunch at Frida’s Restaurant and drinks at the beautiful beach bar.

Then I was home, and surprise! Became a gramma so now have a grandson.

I’m Off to Mexico Tomorrow

I’m all packed, ready to go, with three alarm clocks set for four AM.  I hope knowing that will assist in my ability to sleep for several hours.  Or not, and then I’ll have to try to sleep on the plane, sitting up, missing my bed.

Nick and his partner are in the basement so they’ll babysit the house, dog, cats and birds.  Can you believe those jays now demand peanuts?  I put out bird seed but they now just leave it and call to remind me of the nuts.

Margaret and I’ve been twice before so were not at all confused or upset by the mystical directions sent from the first Air BNB host.  We know with the Mayan spirit infusing all things, we may be within metres of the house, but to actually get to it might take quite a bit of time and effort.

We’ve had things to get through here, such as Margaret’s car needing a new alternator, the basement plumbing was backed up and a plumber had to lift the toilet to snake it out, and my overhead lights in the kitchen died suddenly yesterday.

I now have a standing lamp plugged in, as well as various other small lamps on the counter so will have to deal with that upon our return mid February.  Right now, I could give a rat’s ass about something like that.

I set a goal of writing a story in order to submit it to the Okanagan College Short Story Contest, and I just sent it in along with my $15.00 fee.  Besides daily yoga I now realize I do have time to write.  Retirement messes with your head, though.

You get up and think I have all day to do whatever I want, and by two PM I’m looking at the clock thinking why start something now?  But I’ve found I’m able to fit in yoga by convincing myself it’s good for me, and I bought a package of dog-themed stickers and I get one every day that I write.

It’ll be a nice break to be away from CNN and MSNBC as I have an addictive personality and need to have that spell broken.  I’m amazed it’s okay for the American president to do whatever they want, whenever they want, as long as they truly believe it’s to the benefit of the American people.

If you’re as old as me you’ll recall the Conservative leader Kim Campbell’s ads about Jean Chretien’s face caused the party to be reduced to two seats.  Now that’s a sensitive populace.

I’ve got five books and two magazines for the trip as I see there could be thunderstorms when we’re on the tiny island of Holbox where there aren’t any paved roads.  We may be stuck inside for a while.

Margaret wants to take a boat trip to a couple of nearby islands, and I said sure, no problem, unless the weather’s bad.  I said I don’t want to be reminiscent of Gilligan’s Island, you know, “the weather started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed, if not for the courage of the fearless crew the Minnow would be lost.  The Minnow would be lost.”