Christmas Celebrations

I decided to try discontinuing my high blood pressure medication altogether, after successfully reducing the dosage back to the original low dosage I had been taking. Within 24 hours my blood pressure had skyrocketed. So I decided that the medication was working to a limited and inadequate degree, and that I would be better off taking the original low dosage. I began taking the medication at bedtime, and in the morning my blood pressure was a little bit lower, but still higher than it needs to be. It is a work in progress.

My appointment at the walk-in clinic two weeks was fruitful. My blood pressure was borderline high when the doctor took it. He thought my nuclear heart test looked normal, but didn’t touch on much about it. I didn’t pursue it because I am more concerned about getting my blood pressure down, and stabilized. We discussed a few things, I brought my daily blood pressure readings to show him, and he decided I should see a blood pressure specialist. The appointment will be requested by his office, and they will call me to schedule the visit. I am relieved, and I am hoping that the specialist is someone I can work with!

In the meantime I continue with my low sodium, low sugar meal plans.

I did slip a little bit this past week and weekend though! Terra had Attila and I, and Luna and her family over for our Christmas celebration last Thursday night. It was the only time Luna could commit to travelling to Terra’s house. We had a lovely time with the five Grandbabies! Luna’s three seemed to like the books we got them Christmas, and they definitely liked the cash. Terra’s two are too young to be aware of gift giving, but they are old enough to love having all the family there and celebrating together. We have seven grandchildren now, five of them belong to my two daughters, and two of them belong to Attila’s daughter. We had a lovely chicken dinner, cooked by the very busy Terra, who even found time to decorate two Christmas trees! Attila and I said goodnight relatively early, as Attila had to be up at 5 a.m. the next morning to be off to work.

On Saturday we travelled to join in a celebration of the season with my Mom, which my Sister-The-Youngest-Girl held at her house. It was lovely! We had a delicious turkey dinner with all the trimmings and lots of scrumptious vegetables. My Mom made delicious muffins that were safe for me to eat, a real treat. It was great to see my Mom, Brother-The-Middle-Boy, both of my sisters and their partners, and one of my nieces and her fiancé.

My Mom made a quilt for my bed as a gift and I just love it! Last night I slept under it, so cozy and warm. It is red and white mostly, a Christmas theme, bright and cheery and beautiful and so precious. Mom also knitted me a second knee warmer for my arthritic knee, just in time, winter arrived with a flourish last night. My sisters gave us each a bowl, we use the large Corelle bowls instead of dinner plates for most of our meals, and we needed more to accommodate our “dishwasher lifestyle”. We even got to give away our 1961 Electrolux vacuum cleaner. My niece and her fiancé just bought their first house, and didn’t have a vacuum cleaner of their own. They are both engineers, and really gave the built to last machine a good looking over, enjoying the technology. They needed a vacuum cleaner, and we needed to move the Electrolux to new home, it worked for everyone.

We stayed overnight at my Sister-The-Youngest-Girl’s home, as did my Brother-The-Middle-Boy, and we had a lovely breakfast together before heading back home. My Brother-The-Middle-Boy lives along our route home, so we gave him a lift home. It was wonderful to see where he lives, he lives in downtown Toronto in a lovely building, which is very conveniently located so that almost anything he might need is within walking distance. After we waved goodbye to my brother, Attila took a wrong turn and we became lost. we spent about 40 minutes touring the streets of Toronto, before finding the 401 again, and continuing on our way home.

It was snowing when we started out on our journey home, and continued to snow. The roads were wet and visibility was good, with the exception of about a 50 km stretch of highway that was ice covered as sleet hammered the windshield of the car. We proceeded at a snails pace and made it to the other side of the weather, where the road became merely wet, and the sleet became snow once more.

It snowed all night here, and it was still snowing this morning. Attila arose earlier than usual this morning, leaving himself time to shovel out the driveway. By 8 a.m. the snow plow had gone by and left quite a pile of snow across the end of the driveway. At 9:00 a.m. I was out in the great outdoors with my trusty snow shovel. I started to clear the end of the driveway, and was delighted when our neighbour headed towards me with his snowblower. He cleared the end of the driveway with ease, leaving me with only a few small fiddly bits to complete. I shovelled the walk to the front door, and the deck at the front of the house, then decided I had better take a break. The snow was wet and heavy. A few hours later I headed back outside to use a broom to remove the snow from the top of Iris the trailer, and Tank. It was a good workout!

By the time Attila had arrived home from work, most of the areas where the snow had been cleared were completely bare and dry, it had been a mild day.

This afternoon I baked croutons, and this evening I made a batch of squash muffins, which are my pumpkin muffin recipe, but squash has been substituted for pumpkin. It feels pretty satisfying to eat a muffin and know you are getting almost a whole serving of vegetable!

This Christmas Attila wanted a real tree. I wanted an artificial tree, but agreed to a real tree for several reasons. The most important reason is that having a real tree means more to Attila than having an artificial tree means to me. Another reason is that the real tree will be picked up at the roadside for recycling, and will not need to be stored in this tiny house. And the last reason is that we hope to find an artificial tree on sale after Christmas, something within our budget.

We drove around town tonight, after we purchased our groceries for the week, looking for someplace to purchase a real Christmas tree. The NoFrills had none, Canadian Tire had none, Walmart had none… we were beginning to get worried as we were running out of places to look. Then we drove by the Metro grocery store, and they had beautiful trees for sale, a bit pricey, but we figured that if we wanted a tree we had better take what we could find. So after bringing our groceries home, Attila went back to the store for the tree.

The Christmas tree is sitting in our living room, and the smell of the pine is deliriously wonderful. We will let it sit quietly in its corner overnight, to allow gravity to bring the branches down to their normal position. Tomorrow night we will decorate the tree.

I love that I am going to share the living room with a sweet smelling tree for the next few weeks!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

2°C
Date: 8:32 AM EST Monday 12 December 2016
Condition: Mostly Cloudy
Pressure: 100.5 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 2.2°C
Dew point: 1.2°C
Humidity: 93%
Wind: SSW 23 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Efficiency is intelligent laziness.”
Anonymous

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6 Responses to Christmas Celebrations

  1. Bex Crowell says:

    We used to get real trees here, but after a while, and both of us working full-time, with dogs and 2 cats, as well, it got to be too much and too messy. One or two years we bought a real tree and put it outside on the back deck and put lights only on it… the sliding doors framed the lit-up tree and it was perfection… when it snowed, it was lovely… and we didn’t have to clean-up after it! We tied it up to the railings when it got windy out there. I kind of wish we were still doing that… but for now, my two tiny 18″ trees will suffice.

  2. Good to see all that family around you! I mean, good for ME to see them!
    Too bad you aren’t closer, I’d give you my artificial tree.
    I envy you the scent of the real one, which makes me think I might go outside and find just a bough to bring in, for the scent.
    Not that we have pine trees around here. Nope. Just spruce. But its bough, too, will smell great in the house.
    I also put a cinnamon stick into a small pot of water at this time of year and simmer it for a while, for that festive Christmas aroma.
    -Kate

  3. TopsyTurvy (Teri) says:

    Well, I’ve ended up joining you on blood pressure meds. I’d been modifying my foods over the last few weeks but it hadn’t made a difference. My blood pressure is bouncy at this point but most of the time can’t be considered high.

    The weather around here has been white. We have maybe 6 inches of snow on the ground but the town was really ready for it and the roads were in excellent shape by 8am, baring the 3 foot pile of snow the plow left in our driveway literally minutes after DH had put away the snowblower.

    We’ve got light snow falling this morning, too. I’d thought of going out but am not feeling particularly hardy, today. OTOH, we’re scheduled for snow flurries about every day this week and a possible snowstorm Friday night.

    Glad you were able to find a tree! The last week we’ve seen a lot of trees on cars so I know they must be getting sold out. We have an artificial tree. Last year, we had to take all the lights off it because too many strings were going out and we couldn’t repair them all, anymore. So, this year we started with a freshly naked faux tree and got some new LEDs for it. Very happy with the way it looks!

    We also got a wonderful gift for our tree the other day, my BIL and SIL gifted us with 16 large bulbs in teal and mother of pearl. I never would have bought such large bulbs myself, but they look wonderful!!

    One thing DH and I have noticed about Christmas trees, doesn’t matter if they’re fresh or faux you still end up with needles shed on the floor. 😀

  4. Bex, what a terrific idea, putting the Christmas tree outside, near the window so that you can see it! We can’t do it, none of our windows offer a view, unless we put the tree on the roof of the garage… hmmm… could be done, I don’t think Attila will go for it though. We have used a tiny 24″ tree for the last few years, but this year Attila took responsibility for obtaining and setting up the real tree. I have been cleaning needles all morning! I have collected about a six quart basket of dead needles form this tree, and it hasn’t thinned out at all… it is a beautiful tree, but the messiest tree I’ve ever had!

  5. Kate, the scent of pine is evocative of childhood experiences, there is nothing else quite so powerful for me in the way of scents. It was wonderful to see all the family, both my kids and grandkids, and my Mom and my brother and sisters. Attila is relieved that he doesn’t have to drive long distances for the Christmas break, since we have done our travel connected to Christmas visits, he feels he can relax and wind down for holiday. Of course, Attila will focus on cooking in his beloved kitchen!

  6. LOL Teri, still with needles on the floor! I had thought to resolve that issue, but my hopes are dashed 🙂

    We have snow on the ground now too, but the roads are clear. Our neighbour was even out for a walk with her walker yesterday, and she doesn’t venture out if there is ice on the road.

    Your Christmas decorations sound lovely! Neither Attila nor I are sophisticated decorators, realying on the same old decorations for the last 23 years. I do admire the tastefully decorated trees though, and I enjoy looking at the ones placed in people’s front windows, as we drive along the streets after dark, quite beautiful.