Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Another year is almost wrapped up

A couple of things I'd like to zip on here while I have a few minutes to spare.

First, I hope that everyone has had a great holiday season so far and played safely.
I'm looking forward to seeing all of my present friends and making some new ones in 2012. So don't go and do anything goofy to ruin that. Okay?

Secondly, a quick heads up that both of my lads presently have very nice and polite girlfriends that Cheryl and I like very much. Thumbs up to T and B. Well done.
I'm betting that I will be mentioning this again at some point in the future.

On December 10 my grandmother (who we have always known as Granny) turned 100 years old!!
Do you believe that? She is the oldest person I have ever known.
Co-incidentally, she also happens to be one of the people that I have known the longest. :)
She's in great shape too.
We had a nice family gathering at a small restaurant in the Village of Gagetown.
Family came in from the U.S. and Ontario for the lunch.
The local MLA presented Granny with a letter from himself as well as the premier of New Brunswick and other members of government.
It was really very nice. We all had a nice time and Granny was delighted to have us all together.

Finally, a couple of posts ago I talked about B's paper route and that we were required to insert the mounds of flyers into the papers from now on.
I made a mistake. Oops.
Last week the papers rolled in on Thursday and I was surprised to see that the flyers were already in place.
I mentioned it to Cheryl and she told me that we only had to insert them for a couple of weeks before Christmas. It's back to normal now.
Darn, we were starting to make plans on what to spend that extra dollar a week on.

I stand corrected.

Stay well, play safely, and Happy New Year (in case I don't talk to you before then).


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I wish that I could be stronger...

This isn't a happy one. If you proceed to read it I apologize now.
If you don't read it that's okay. I understand.

One of the many difficult tasks of dealing with my mother and sister's passing three years ago has been going through so many of mom's things.

The "things" haven't been too bad I guess. They're pretty simple. Either it's something that we can use, I can give to someone else to use, or throw away.

The real crusher has been going through the multitude of photo albums that mom had.

It's almost like mom had an obsession with photos. Every time she went on a trip she returned with rolls and rolls of film to be processed. She had them all developed and then put every picture in photo albums.

When she was done showing friends and family the photos she would put the album(s) in their storage spot with the multitude of other albums. I'm quite positive that they were never looked at again until I inherited them.

I should mention that they are certainly not all holiday snaps. I've been surprised to find plenty of family pictures that I had either never seen or had just forgotten about.

Most of these photo albums were put in a huge Rubbermaid storage container but there were others in boxes as well.
I brought them back to New Brunswick a few years ago in a rented trailer along with lots of other things.

When I began going through these things I accepted the reality that I would have to be ruthless.
Unfortunately my nature is to hoard things.
I had not really realized that I had some of this characteristic until I watched the show "Hoarders" on TV.
I'm not as bad as the folks on that show but many times I find myself sympathizing and understanding what the hoarders on the show are feeling.

As I looked at the pile of mom's photo albums I accepted that there was no way possible that we could keep all of them.
Disposal was necessary.
I decided that unless a photo had mom or anyone else that I cared about in it it went into the trash.

It was impressive how well I did. I loaded up an entire garbage bag with photos of scenes that were pleasant but had no relevance to me other than that my mother had taken them.

I was at it for a few hours each day.
This seems like (and was) a long time but I was still far from done.

One morning a few days into this I felt terrible. It felt like I had been hit by a truck. I was sore and achy all over.
It was everything I could do just to get out of bed. I can't remember feeling so awful.

At first I didn't make a connection with this and mom's photos but my doctor pointed it out in a conversation.

Holy cow, he was right.
This process of looking at hundreds of pictures and throwing many away was affecting me and I hadn't realized it.

You could understand why to this day I have never gone back to that task.

T is a very tidy and neat lad and I am very proud of him for this. He is neater than I have ever been in my entire life.
It's all good though. He isn't really obsessive about it but takes it very seriously and has pride in doing it right.

You can imagine how frustrated T has been with the stacks of photo albums and other items of mom's sitting there in the basement unmoved for two years.

I haven't actually told anyone about the effects of the pictures on me. I've just steered clear and avoided that pile of stuff.

Until today.

I had a message from Cheryl who was overwhelmed by the amount of stuff down there. She had tried to get into it to clean up but wanted me to help her with it.

So I told her what my problem is and why I haven't done what I was supposed to do.

Her reply was "That's okay Hon...I will do it."

Thank goodness.

Stay well,

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Gee, thanks...

This is rather amusing and I wanted to share it.

As many of you know, our son B started a newspaper route almost a year ago. It's delivered every day except Sundays and Christmas Day.

It's been going pretty well and he and I have the routine down to a science. His route isn't in our neighbourhood so I drive him over and we do it together.

I wake up at 6:15 and go outside to get the newspaper bundle while he gets dressed and ready to go. The papers usually arrive sometime before we get up.
I say "usually" but not always. There have been a few instances that they have been two hours late. We were told in the beginning that the customers are to have their papers delivered before 7 a.m.

I put the bundle on the kitchen table and cut the plastic straps holding the bundle.
By this time B has come into the kitchen. Some of the customers like to have their paper in plastic bags while most do not.
I hold the bag and B rolls the paper small enough to fit into it.
Then we're ready to go.

Since the start of B's paper career, Thursday has been a dreaded day for us.
That's flyer day and the papers are sometimes almost twice as fat as a regular day.
That's okay though and not a big deal.
For the past few weeks the flyers have been huge and almost twice as thick as the newspaper itself! I'm assuming that this is due to the Christmas season being upon us.
Up until recently the papers had come bundled as usual with the flyers already within the papers.

However, a few weeks ago the newspaper publisher sent out an announcement that the flyers would no longer be inside the papers and would be in their own bundles.
The carriers were now required to insert them into the papers.

But, it was going to be worth their while. The publisher was going to pay the carriers a little extra for their efforts on flyer day.

I thought okay, it's a bit of a pain but as long as he was to get some extra moolah for it, I'm good with that.

I'll tell you though. The last couple of weeks have been crazy with the size and number of flyers.
The person who delivers them to our house brings them right up and leaves them on our front porch which is nice.
A couple of times when there was a different person I found the bundles on the driveway behind my car. At first I didn't even know they were there. After waiting for a while I decided to go out and look around and that's when I found them.

A couple of weeks ago we had a snowstorm. The boys and I did a decent job of clearing the snow but during the night the snowplow came and left a gift at the end of the driveway.
When I got up to get the papers I could see them way down at the road at the end of the driveway.
Coincidentally this was on a monster sized flyer day so two trips were needed for me to bring them to the house.

Anyhoo, B and I have been stuffing all of those stupid flyers into all of those papers for a few weeks now without complaining too much with the knowledge that some extra bread will be gracing his palm.

Last week Cheryl received a copy of B's pay summary.

She made the huge announcement that we had indeed received the "flyer windfall" in his pay.

About a buck.

Just over one dollar.

Perhaps it's just me but I was really thinking that it would be a little more than that.

Ah well, it's better than nothing right?
Right? :)

Stay well,