Sunday – Empty Nesters again

On Saturday, I babysat Babycakes while Hubby and Andy took barrels to the Mayor’s grapestomp.  Then I drove the foreign student to the mall and left her for a few hours.  Went back to my house, still with Babycakes, and took # 1 Son and wife to Costco to get groceries for their new apartment, then back to pick up the student.  Got home about 3:30 and was pooped.  Talked Hubby into going out for Chinese food then we took another load to # 1 Son’s apartment.

It is so great to get rid of so much stuff from our house!!!  They took an old kitchen table and chairs from the garage attic.  I cleaned out my linen closet and gave them a bunch of tea towels, tablecloths etc.  There is no huge pile of shoes by the back door now!!  And there is room in the closet for all my shoes!  I gave them some old pots, fry pan, tupperware and cutlery so now my drawers aren’t overflowing.  It’s great!!!

The only thing they don’t like is that there is no recycling bins and no green bins for composting.  They have been so well trained by me to recycle and compost everything,  they are finding it very hard to put this stuff in the garbage now.  It’s ridiculous that apartment buildings aren’t made to recycle and compost!!!


New Tires, New apartment-Tues-Fri.

On Wednesday I took my car in to have a wheel alignment and they told me I needed 4 new tires.  They got it done about noon, and I raced over to the mall where I was supposed to meet my travelling buddy for lunch.  We exchanged my CDs and diary of our NYC trip for the travel bag and info. about a European trip in 2014 that she had brought me over Philly cheesesteaks.  Then I race to the garage for my 1:30 appointment to have the 4 tires aligned as the tire place only does 2 wheel alignments.  Cost for tires and alignment was $610.00.  But the car is so much quieter now!! It’s great.

# 1 Son, wife, her sister and her sister’s  boyfriend found an apartment they like and they got it.  So they will all be moving out very soon.  Money is going to be very tight for all of them.  The sister and boyfriend have nothing! except the clothes and personal items they brought from Indonesia.  I will try to get them some used furniture, linens, towels etc at the next auction.  #1 Son’s wife won’t used any dishes or pots and pans or anything for eating that has been used.  She has a “thing” about this so they will buy new stuff from the bargain warehouse which is silly in my mind because everything goes so cheap at auction but oh well, it’s their money.  The sister and boyfriend are moving out this morning.

Yesterday I babysat Puddin’ and Babycakes all day.  They had a great time on the swing, in the sandbox, driving the toy car and motorcycle around the driveway.  They are coming back again today but it’s raining a bit now.

New Vehicle -Monday

I have this week off and yesterday was a gorgeous sunny, warm day.  I worked all morning, cleaning the garage so I can park my car in it in the winter.  Then I cut all the grass and picked up walnuts.  The Indonesian boyfriend helped me.  He hadn’t seen walnuts before.

Then after supper, # 2 Son and I drove to Brmptn to look at a used vehicle we saw on the internet.  He was off all last week with a head infection, so had time to investigate vehicles and decided a Hybrid Ford Escape 4×4 would be just the thing for him.  There were hardly any used ones on the autotrader site.  We ended up buying the one in Brmptn.  We got their at 7:30 and left at 9:30 (they close at 8:30 oops).  We got home about 10:30.  He taught me how to use my cruise control on the way home.  He and family and friends are going up to his friend’s cottage for the weekend, so they will stop on the way home Monday and pick up the new SUV.

Sunday at the Beach & Arrivals

I worked at an auction yesterday until 4 pm.  I bought Win a weed whipper for $2.00 and I got the church 2 Handicapped parking signs for $2.00 as well as a clock radio for # 1 Son and an egg cooker and big bowl for myself.  So before church I took the weed whipper to Win’s to get it out of the trunk.  Win and Puddin went to church but Maddy was at the trailer.

After church I had parish council so Win took Mom to her house.  After my meeting I went there and we had tea and bagels out on the back deck.  It was such a beautiful day!!  I suggested we take the Lux girl to the beach because she seemed so interested in the lake but she didn’t want to go!  She wanted to sit in her room in the dark and watch a movie!  I don’t understand people that would rather sit inside that go out on such a gorgeous day!!  So Win and I took the girls and Mom to the beach anyway.  The water was so low and full of algae and scum, very gross by the shore so we just played in the sand.

Yesterday # 1 Son’s wife’s sister and her boyfriend arrived here from Indonesia.  He doesn’t speak any English at all.  The 4 of them were going to rent an apartment together but they haven’t found one so far, so in the meantime they are sleeping in our basement.

Puddin’ at the Fair

I took Mom to church and then about 3 pm I picked Puddin’ up and drove Mom home and then Puddin’ and I went to the fair.  She helped me scrub potatoes for the Holy Grill.  Then we had a look at the demolition derby and I bought us both a “twisted” icecream cone.  Then she had to go to the washroom, so we stood in line waiting to get in.  Afterwards, I had to go to work on the grill so we found Win and she took for a pony ride.  We were pretty busy until about 8:00, then we packed it up.  I was home by 9.

Win’s exchange student, Celine, arrived from Luxenbourg on Sunday.  She speaks Dutch and pretty good English.

Last night we went and cleaned the grill, ready for the next event in October.  Afterwards the minister and his wife and another man and me went to the JoHo for a beer.  I had cider.

Rainy Fair Saturday

I went straight from work down to the Fall Fair to work on the Holy Grill.  I had a hotdog and fries for supper before taking over my shift as fryer.  It was pretty slow.  It did pick up a bit from 6 to 8 pm when the stunt motorcycle and car drivers were performing.  It started to rain about 9 pm and everyone was leaving so we packed it up.  I was home by 10 pm.

Saturday morning I was just going to leave to go and work at an auction when it started pouring, just teeming!!  I waited thinking it would ease up a bit but it didn’t so I got my rain poncho and hat and off I went.  Most of the auction was inside a house on the south service road so it was okay.  I was home by 1 pm.

I sat and watched a movie and had a coffee and rest, then went out shopping for a new kitchen ceiling fan light because Win wanted to take the one from her old bedroom for her student’s bedroom.  I said why don’t you take my kitchen fan and I will buy a nice new one for myself.  So that’s what we are doing.

Win and I are both working at the Fair on Sunday on the last shift.

New York City trip – Aug 2012

Thursday, August 16,2012 I drove to Di’s, leaving our house at 6:15 a.m, arriving at her house about 7 a.m.  She gave me a tour of the house and a cup of coffee, then her husband drove us to the Duty Free store in Fort Erie where we had a bit to eat in McDonald’s and then were picked up by the Brad Walt. bus about 8:45.  We stopped for lunch at another McDonald’s at noon and arrived at the Hilton in Scranton, Penn. about 4 pm.

We waited for our bags and went down for cocktails at 6.  We talked to Bruce who had been on our Hawaii trip and had lost 61 pounds!  He looked really good.

We were then given a delicious plated dinner in the ballroom, all 150 of us, (3 bus loads).  Brad told us about the trip.  After dinner Di and I went for a walk around the town, past the old lit-up courthouse and a large lighted sign of Scranton, the first Electric Car, and a memorial garden to vets.  We went back to the hotel and bed.

Friday, August 17th – We had a buffet breakfast and then walked around Scranton.  We found the old railway station that has been renovated and turned into a large hotel.  It was beautiful inside, with large chandeliers, a dining room and a room with old railway seats made into funky furniture.  We walked around the block, ending up at the veteran’s memorial again.  A man asked us where we were from and told us the town square revitalization had cost $48 million.  He said he was a judge!

We boarded the bus at 9, arriving at South Sea Port, NYC at noon just in time for lunch.  There were good views of the Brooklyn bridge, and sailing ships in the harbour.  Di and I bought a Philly Cheese Steak for our lunch and it wasn’t long before it was time to board the buses again.

We were given a 4 hour bus tour with a step-on local guide, taking us around lower Manhatten, through Greenwich village, Soho, Chelsea and then we stopped at Ground Zero and the 911 memorial.  This had changed considerably since the last time I was here in 2003.  Two new towers are almost completed and two huge square waterfalls have been made in the holes of the destroyed twin towers.  A metal railing  around the perimeter of each waterfall has the 3000 names of the victims carved into it.  The security to enter was very intense, checking all bags etc.  We had to be there by 3 pm for out appointment.  We each purchased a pin in the gift shop.

Back on the bus we headed for The Westin hotel in mid-town Manhatten, a block from Times Square.  Our bags were finally delivered about 5:45 pm, just in time for a quick change and then it was back on the bus to head out for supper.  Some people didn’t get their luggage in time, so we were lucky.

Supper was at Ellen’s Stardust Diner.  A very crowded, loud diner where the waiters and waitresses sang and danced on a bar amid the diners.  I had pre-ordered a steak medium rare, but got meatloaf!  They switched it though and it was very good, done perfectly!

After dinner we boarded the bus and drove to the Broadway Theatre to see “Ghost”.  It was very good and the special effects were really interesting.  After the show, we were all pointed in the right direction to walk back to the hotel.  It was a beautiful warm night so we walked around Times Square and eventually found a bar that wasn’t crowded.  We sat outside and had a drink  (a Long Island Ice Tea for Di, and a Corona for me).  We walked back to the hotel and on the way, a young girl who was probably drunk called us “Sexy Mamas”! LOL

Saturday, Aug 18th – The alarm went off at 6 am and we felt we’d just gone to bed!  We had a shower and went across the street to Dave & Buster’s Restaurant.  It was open only for our group for breakfast.  Then we boarded the bus which took us to the theatre where “Wicked” was playing.  They showed us how the show is made, we got a close up look at some costumes.  Each one is custom fitted to the actor and costs anywhere between $2000 to $30,000.  They showed us how they make masks for the monkeys and goat etc. The show has been on Broadway for 9 years.

Next the bus took us to John’s Pizza which used to be an old church.  We were served salad and pizzas at the table and then could help ourselves to more pizza and fettucini.  We were stuffed!!   Some got almond cookies for dessert.  Then the bus took us to “Sister Act” starring Raven-Symone who used to play Olivia on The Cosby Show on TV.  It was really good and we had excellent seats!!  We were in the second row from the front, right in the middle.  We were so close we could see their little microphones on their foreheads!  The conductor of the orchestra was right in fron of us and he became the Pope at the end of the show!

Next the bus took us to the Hard Rock Cafe for supper.  I had grilled, melt in your mouth Salmon, just excellent!  After dinner we walked back to the hotel and ditched our extra bags and then walked to 6th Ave and East 44th St, where a tent shopping city but it was gone.  We walked to the Rockefeller Centre, then down 5th Ave and back to the hotel about 10 pm.  Our feet were aching!!!

Sunday, August 19th – We had a buffet breakfast at Dave & Buster’s again.  We boarded the bus for a tour of NCB studios.  We waited in the gift shop for our turn but for a company that is based on art, design, and creation, the T shirts and souvenirs were pathetic.

We were shown a 10 minute film about the history and past shows of NBC.  Then we on the Doctor OZ studio set which when we went in 2003 was Conan O’Brien’s studio.  Then we saw Jimmy Fallon’s Late Night studio which was previously Johnny Carson’s.  We saw some pipes in a closet with painted muppets on them done by the creators of the Muppets when they were bored one time years ago.  We were shown the News and the green board where the Weather is done.   And lastly we saw the Saturday Night Live studio.

Next the bus drove us to the Chelsea Piers where we boarded a “yacht” called the Antarica for a Hudson River luncheon cruise.  We were served Lobster Bisque, Salmon and Couscous, Cheesecake and Chocolate Mousse for dessert.  We were also served champagne.  We viewed the NYC skyline while we dined.  When we got to the Statue of Liberty, we went outside/ upstairs to take pictures.  Appropriate music was playing in the background like “America” by Lee Greenwood, “New York New York” etc.  After about 3 hours we returned to the pier and boarded the bus, returning to the hotel for a couple of hours of free time.

We went shopping for T shirts, then got changed and met the group to walk to the restaurant for dinner at Pigalle’s.  I had chicken, Di had the duck which was overcooked and dry.  During dinner, a Marilyn Monroe and a George Clooney look alike sauntered around the room, stopping at each table.  I had my picture taken with them.

We sat next to an older English man name Chris who is travelling on his own.  I told him we were planning to go up the Empire State Building after supper and he asked if he could join us.  We headed out about 8:15 pm and walked the 10 blocks to the popular tourist attraction which is open everyday until 2 am.  Scalpers tried to sell us tickets outside for $10.00 more that inside but we didn’t bite.  We lined up and went through security, then Di had to go to the bathroom  so Chris and I waited while a thousand people got ahead of us in line!!  She was taking so long, I went to find her but didn’t, but I figured I mgiht as well go while I was there.  When I got back, she had already returned.

We purchased our tickets, they got the senior rate of $22.00, mine was $25.00 and then stood in a very long queue that snaked around but moved fairly quickly.  We finally got on an elevator to the 80th floor,  stood in another line to get on another elevator to the top.  Out on the observation deck, the night was warm and the deck was crowded, unlike in November 2003 when we were there.  That time it was freezing cold, so people didn’t stay out there long, so it was fairly empty.  We made our way to the edge and took pictures as we pushed our way around the perimeter.

About 10:30, we started making our way back down, more line-ups for elevators but not as long.  We arrived back on the ground about 11 pm and Di whose feet were killing her announced “We’re not walking back to the hotel!!”  So we hailed a taxi cab and split the cost 3 ways which came to $3.00 each.  Tired and aching, we went to bed.

Monday, August 20th – We were up at 6 to have our suitcases out by 7 and went for breakfast.  Our bus left at 9:20 for a Noshing Tour.  A guide basically took around Manhatten again and repeated a lot of the tour we had had on our first day, but we stopped a several places for bagels and smoked salmon and cream cheese, a bun with fresh mozzarella, and a large chocolate chip cookie.  We went into Brooklyn, down into DUMBO which is a revitalized part where Yuppies live, to a Merry Go Round by old warehouses down by the waterfront.

Then it was goodbye NYC to sleep overnight at the Turning Stone resort which is a big casino on a reserve.   There was a huge buffet for supper.  We were each given a free $40.00 card to play at the casino.  Di and I went shopping first and then tried some slot machines.  At first my card wouldn’t work but a server got it going and once it went up over $40.00 to $78.00, I quit.  They subtract the $40.00 so you only get $38.00 when you cash out.  Di lost all hers.

Tuesday, August 21st – The bus took us home and they let us off at the Fort Erie Tourist Information place where Di’s husband picked us up.


Sunday – Mom not a shopper!

Hubby and his friend went up north to the trailer for 2 weeks.  # 1 Son and wife left Saturday morning to go up for the long weekend.  Win was working all day Saturday, so on Friday, I volunteered to work this Saturday.  I figured I wasn’t doing much at home, so I might as well work and take a day off when I really wanted it.

I finished the church newsletter Saturday night so it is all ready to run off.  I also got some photos printed for the church bulletin board.  After church today, I took Mom shopping for some new clothes.  She didn’t really want any but she has been wearing the same white T shirt every Sunday for the last month! maybe even 2 months!  She has other clothes, I don’t understand why she doesn’t put something else on??

Her hair is always a mess.  I told her she needs to get it done.  She has never bothered what she looks like.  It’s not that she can’t afford it.  I got her some new pants about 6 months ago and she has never worn them!!  I asked her why not??  She said she is saving them.  I said, She’s 90 years old, what is she SAVING them for???  She makes NO sense!!  We did find a nice long sleeved T shirt and a vest so I made her buy them.