Sunday, July 14, 2019

Living Alone

It is just about four months now since I lost Norma on March 24th. I am doing relatively fine, leaning on friends. I have been down to visit Brooks a couple of times and he has been up here to help me with a fence repair and the granddaughters were up with their other grandmother to take some of Norma's clothes so I have not really been alone for extended periods.

Still, loneliness does take it's toll. I try to "do" something every day and have been pretty good at accomplishing this. Norma's (and my) friend Kelly has become my official housekeeper slash gardener and has been doing a great job at that although she never accepts what I figure I owe her. I have been keeping the house fairly clean on my own and in fact last time Kelly came in, looked around and announced the house did not need her attention. She also went through all of Norma's clothing and separated it into several categories and did most of the work in the dispensing of these clothes. I have told Kelly this and I really mean it, I don't think I could have managed the first few months without her. Thank you so much Kelly, I will never be able to repay you! Norma and I worked away from each other so much that I remained or became very adept at feeding myself  and doing my own laundry and such so that is no problem.

Overall, I miss having someone around to talk to. We always discussed things like financial and travel decisions and now I am on my own on these issues. Also the little things like our resident pair of eagles having a conversation from the trees in the back yard. I find myself wanting to call someone to come out back and listen to their performance with me but there is no one to call. The house is so silent now.

Brooks and I are holding a Celebration of Life on July 27th (Norma's birthday) and I am hoping that will bring some closure for us. I sent out an invitation to most of my email list but really have no idea what kind of a crowd to expect. I hope the weather is good so we can stay outside on the patios and the porch but either way, rain or shine it is happening. If you are a friend of Norma's or mine and I missed you, please try to drop in around four on July 27. Bring your favorite beverage and if you are local, a snack to share as well as a couple of chairs if you have them as seating is always limited. Bring your favorite "Norma" stories as I am sure many laughs will be exchanged.  Our friend Sharon tells me there will be some letters from people Norma worked her political magic with and for and these will be entertaining.

I know now that I am going to be OK! I will get through this period of my life! I know I am not good on my own and like Brooks says, "Dad, you need a traveling companion". I know he is right and I am starting to look toward the future instead of just the past and the present. I will be OK!






Friday, July 12, 2019

Credit Card Compromised!

Just what I need! A mysterious charge of $13 for "shipping" appeared on my Visa card a week or two ago. I called Visa and they gave me the name of a company and a phone number. I called and they told me I had signed up for a "subscription" to "Men's Health Pills" for $44 per month with the first month being free except for the shipping.. I explained I had done no such things and knew nothing about it and to please immediately cancel the subscription. He refused to do so saying he was only authorized to offer me the first three months at half price. I yelled at him but it did no good, he hung up on me.

I put in an online fraud complaint to Visa and was contacted the next day. They were very familiar with this company and had dealt with them before. He reversed the shipping charge and told me the only way to avoid ongoing monthly charges was to cancel my Visa card and account number and get a new one! This is very inconvenient as I have some recurring charges using this card and would have to change all of them. But my card number is evidently "out there" so I have no choice.

I got my new card, tested it and all is well. However a few legitimate charges totaling about $200 (all made about the time of the fraud) have been lost in the process. Grocery purchases, gas, etc that I legitimately made. I called Visa and they have no record of them ever having been charged and can offer no solution. I could go to these companies and offer payment again but then what if the original charge should then appear? I would be paying double. If I simply wait it out I might be in danger of affecting my credit rating.

In the meantime I received a package in the mail with a bottle of pills. Who knows what they are made of? I put them away unopened in case at some point I have to return them. Damn scammers!

Image result for credit card scammer

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Norma's Clothes Are Gone!

It has been just over three months since Norma passed and her friend Kelly has been busy sorting through her closets, drawers and storage bins. She ended up with two piles, one pile of ten large garbage bags of Norma's everyday clothes that we sold for $50 on Facebook in a "no sorting, take it all or nothing" sale and another pile of twenty-two large garbage bags of her higher end clothing and one huge cardboard box full of shoes. Much of the clothing and many of the shoes still had price tags on them.

Norma had mentioned how much she liked the fact that the Women's Transition Society provided nice clothing for women leaving shelters and re-entering the workforce so she did my work for me in determining a worthy recipient for her clothes. Those of you who knew Norma know she had excellent (and expensive) taste in clothes.

The Transition House has a driver and he came over today with his trailer and we carried everything out. His trailer was almost full when he pulled out. I should have taken a photo but I did not.

I am now moving my stuff out of my drawers and into the bedroom closet. Her other two closets will find a new use, yet to be determined.

Thank you for all the help sorting and dealing with her clothes Kelly. I literally could not have done it without you. I am feeling sad and relieved at the same time but the job is done. Maybe one of the hardest jobs.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Norma's Roses!

They are coming in. Thanks Kelly! I know it was your Green Thumb!


Friday, May 24, 2019

Everest Traffic Jam


Mount Everest (From CNN.com)

So many people are climbing Mount Everest these days that "traffic jams" often develop. And these jams may have contributed to the deaths this week of two mountaineers. Indian climber Anjali Kulkarni, 55, died on her way back from climbing to the summit, and American mountaineer Donald Lynn Cash, 55, died after fainting from high altitude sickness while descending. One climber posted a photo Wednesday (May 22) of the heavy human traffic on Everest, estimating that about 320 people were in a line waiting to stand on the summit in an area known as the "death zone." More than 200 climbers have died on the peak since 1922. Most bodies are believed to still be buried under glaciers or snow.


320 people lined up to summit Mt. Everest! Sir Edmund Hillary will be turning over in his grave!

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

What a Day!

It is going up to 26 here today (78F). Kelly dropped over yesterday to see if her back was good enough to weed a little. It was. This morning I cut some of the front rose bush that was in front of the kitchen window. Yes Norma, I know it is the wrong season for trimming roses. Then I went around back and cut out some prickly vines that were growing in my wood pile. I got a little scarred up doing that but I will live. All in all I half filled a garden refuse bag and am quite proud of myself! It is the first gardening I have done without Norma literally hanging over my shoulder telling me exactly where and how to cut!

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Home Again

Home again and rain, rain, rain! Nothing but rain for the next two weeks. Staying inside!

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Pension Problem Solved!

I finally got face to face with a BC Government Employees pension plan person after her admonishing me for driving all the way to Victoria without an appointment. Her: "We are very busy, you are lucky I could fit you in". Me: "How can I set up an appointment? You never answer your phone". Her (proudly):"Our records show that 80% of phone calls are answered in 20 minutes or less". 20 minutes is about what it takes to kill a cell phone battery.
After that things went smoothly. The balance of her pension will be deposited in my account at the end of May and the missed April payment will be sent out soon. The Extended Medical payments will be deducted from my deposits.
Traffic on the Malahat was slow but not parking lot slow. I made it back to Shawnigan in an hour and a half instead of the best case 45 minutes.
When Norma was one of the heads of Forest Renewal BC, she decreed that all incoming phone calls were answered by a human being in six rings or less. If you left your desk, you forwarded your calls to your cell phone.If you were in a meeting the call went to your assistant or to the receptionist with the six ring rule still in effect.

Friday, May 10, 2019

At Brooks'

I am down in Shawnigan Lake for a few days visiting my son and LindaLee. I needed to get out of the house. I am driving down to Victoria to meet with Norma's' pension office face to face. That is the last problem I am having with her affairs. She left me a small portion of her pension, enough to cover the {subsidized) extended medical plan payments. They keep telling me it will take "another week or so" to do the paperwork and that is fine except I want to make sure I don't lose my medical coverage because they can't get their crap together.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Chores

With all that has been going on in my life lately I neglected to run the generator in the motorhome to exercise it for two months in a row. This morning I hit the start button and after a few seconds of grinding away, it started! I fired up the air conditioning to give it a good load and after an hour and a half I will turn it off. All is well and if I want to use the motorhome this summer, it is ready to go.