Friday, August 16, 2013

Maui Jim Equals Great Customer Service!

(Cathy) About seven to eight years ago I purchased a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses. They're great, comfortable and I really love them. A few weeks ago the rubber nose support piece came off and was lost. I was still wearing them. I did go to a local sunglass store to see if I could purchase a replacement. They did not have any and suggested that I go direct to Maui Jim. The salesperson said that they have really great customer service department and that I would be pleasantly surprised. 

The Maui Jim office is located not too far from where I live so one day off I went. As I entered I was greeted with a big, smiley ALOHA and asked how they could assist me. I showed them my sunglasses and asked if it was still possible to get the nose pad piece replaced. They said sure and it would only take a few minutes. The customer service agent very shortly returned to me wanting to know if I wanted the small crack in the lense fixed that she had noticed. I asked how much would be the extra cost and was told that there was no charge! 

After a wait of about ten minutes the same agent returned with what I thought were my old sunglasses fixed. In fact they were a new pair! She had a smile on her face and said that it was not a problem. I was then handed a cleaning cloth with a new case. 

I was told to have a great day and that was that! All for the cost of a smile!

Maui Jim equals great customer service!


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Health Update

(Cathy) It's been awhile since I have updated everyone on my health. I am happy to say that I am finally back at work full time. That is the good news. As for my left arm, the condition remains. I do not know how to refer to it. I refuse to call it a disability. On the paperwork my left arm has been labeled as "officially non-functional". I have Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) now known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS). This resulted from a skiing accident on January 07th, 2012. I have limited use of my left arm. It is is constant pain, burning, pressure, pin pricks, cold as ice - just to name a few symptoms. I have found that being constantly in pain is very exhausting which is why I am glad to be back at work. I find the distraction very helpful. It's good to have to get up and get ready to go somewhere every day. It's ok to come home tired. I feel better for it. I have modified work responsibilities and that's ok. This is a positive move forward for me. Before I went back to work I was fighting hard not to slip into depression. I could recognize it happening and fought it tooth and nail. I am lucky to have a great, loving family and great friends who all helped to keep me "normal". I am not on any medication for pain relief. I think I have tried every "infomercial" brand of medication. None of them worked. Not even a little bit and the side effects were horrendous. I have decided to keep myself busy and work on dealing with the pain. It's going to be around for the rest of my days unless it goes into remission. 

The other part of my health issue is the incidental finding of a small brain tumour. It is not cancerous! It could have been there from the day I was born. I have to say that it sucks knowing that it is there. I have to keep getting MRI's done every nine to twelve months just to make sure it does not change. I try not to think about it too much as there is not much I can do about it.

Think positive thoughts!

Keeping in Touch - The End of Summer

(Cathy) Here it is August 13th, 2013. The summer is coming to a close much too quickly! The weather is not helping as it is cold and windy. What happened to "hot, hazy and humid"? I miss those August days of my past. Boy, I sure can make myself seem old! (Carolin) YOU ARE OLD!

Yesterday, we ladies were together at Sunshine's home. Together for the first time all summer! We had a blast! I have not laughed so much and so heartily since, well, I cannot remember when. We actually made a date to go for, "Afternoon High Tea" at The Old Mill. I will try to tell you how it went. I posted on Facebook that I was going for High Tea and my sister commented "What are you 80!)

We spent a lot of time yesterday laughing about the menu for our annual Labour Day BBQ. Hubby and I host this event and we always like to come up with a different menu. At the end of the summer everyone is tired of eating hamburgers and hot dogs. In the past we have had pulled pork, beef dip, fajitas (or was it burritos?), simple tasty meals. This year Sunshine suggested pizza. I thought it was a great idea. I then decided that individual pita pizzas would be great, cooked on the BBQ. I would have all of the toppings, buffet style, and everyone could top their own. Let me gets this straight, I am to make a Caesar salad and as Sunshine said I have to make the real kind with anchovies and real fried croutons.  And then after all that work I then come to your house and make my own dinner.   The kids would love it! What kids, like I have said before the youngest ones are 13, its not like it was years ago. 

So, yesterday, as we talk about the menu, Sunshine proposes that we do actual pizza dough and cook that on the BBQ. She also offered to make sauce. Carolin said that she had never had pita pizzas before and was willing to give it a try. ( I have edited what she really said, LOL!) I think a pizza on a pita is nasty.  And who wants to go to a BBQ for pizza,  I will make sure to eat before I get there.

If I am to read into the subtext of all of this; should I still prepare for pita pizzas, or not? Cathy make what ever you want,  I will make sure to have lots of salad.

Keep smiling!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Keeping in Touch: Update

(Cathy) Well, hello one and all. I apologize for the lack of posts. When I looked back our last post was in October, 2012! Time flies and laziness wins more than it should. We ladies are still alive and kicking; Thanks Be to God! 

Carolin is so busy working at her cafe in the school. It looks great! I have very much enjoyed the times I have been to visit there. I am so proud of Carolin! She had a vision and she worked so hard to see it become real. It is so nice to see how much the students and teachers appreciate what she provides. Carolin knows each student by name and even remembers their preferences! When you work for yourself there is never time off. There is always planning: menus, shopping, book keeping. I am sure it must keep her up at nights. Added to all of the above, Carolin also gets many requests to cater events! She manages it all with a smile! 

This leads me to Sunshine. Finally, Carolin asked Sunshine if she would like to work for her at the cafe. Sunshine has been offering for ages. She started at the beginning of this current school year. Sunshine works part time for Carolin and also has another part time job. She just loves keeping busy. It is so cool to see both Sunshine and Carolin working together. It is like a beautifully choreographed dance! I was there one day and the "banter" back and forth never stopped! I laughed so much; they are just like an old married couple!

Louise is back at University studying Early Childhood Services. We do not see or hear from her a lot. I know she is doing very well and is hoping to study straight through the year so she can graduate early. It's hard work to look after a family and go to University full time. We all wish her the best! 

As for me, I am still off of work. It has been over a year and there is still no change to the RSD in my left arm. Added to my woes, a small brain tumor was found after a routine MRI was done on my brain. A second scan was done three months later and as there was no growth I was told it is not cancer. I still need to see a neurosurgeon in case something needs to be done with the tumor. I hope they can tell me it just needs to be left alone and then we can all forget it is there. I have been prescribed all kinds of different medications to try to reduce the neuropathic pain. To date, none have helped. I had the worse reaction coming off of the Cymbalta. It took over three months before it was out of my system and the brain zaps stopped. Now, my doctor is prescribing small doses of Nortriptyline. (so far no help) I am bored at home and realizing that I might actually be a bit depressed. So, I have started to try to get more interested in life. I do exercise as I have to try to keep my arm at the strength level it is at. I do walk the dog. I now have to keep myself busy and stay off of the couch. It's hard and I need a kick in the pants sometimes, but I am blessed with a wonderful family and the best of friends who are like my family. I am not alone.

Thanks for listening!

Saturday, October 6, 2012


(Cathy) Grubs. With the ban on pesticides, (with which I have no issues with) Hubby and I have noticed that most lawns this past summer took a beating. The lawns were eaten up and patchy with shallow roots. The lawn was very easy to pick up in pieces. Grubs! The grub population has soared with the ban on pesticides. As with any time there is a change to the ecosystem, good or bad, there is a consequence. As the saying goes, "time heals". If we just left well enough alone the ecosystem would balance itself out. Of course there are good years and bad, especially with the changing weather patterns. So, back to the grubs, what to do?
Web definitions:
(nematode) unsegmented worms with elongated rounded body pointed at both ends; mostly free-living but some are parasitic.
 In very plain speak, the nematodes attack the grubs, feed on them and use them thereby reducing their numbers. The idea is to spread them on your lawn in cool weather, so in the early spring or fall. They need to be kept well watered and with luck there should be a reduction in your grub population.

Off to the garden centre Hubby went and spent about thirty dollars for a pack of "live" nematodes. The package comes with a wet sponge that has been infused with one million nematodes. Nematodes are microscopic. The directions call for us to soak the sponge in a bucket of water to release the nematodes. That very "clear" water is then applied with a pump sprayer onto the lawn. I tried using a magnifying glass to see if any nematodes (according to package directions) were left behind in the sponge. I couldn't see a thing! 
Hubby and I were laughing that this entire affair was like the emperor's new clothes!

Hubby applied the nematodes to our lawn a few weeks ago and he says he has already noticed a decline in the number of grubs per square foot of lawn. Let's hope the lawn does better next year.

Now, what do we do with an infestation of nematodes?

Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

We all have a lot to be thankful for. Blessings on one and all!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Keeping in Touch - A New Normal

(Cathy) It's been a long time since we group blogged. I know we use our blog to keep in touch and the nice thing about this past summer is we kept in touch, in person! It was great to get together a few more times than normal this past summer. There has been a lot of change, both good and bad this past year. I hope in the next few weeks to catch you all up. I have news regarding my arm, Hubby's heart, the Older One off to University and the Younger One, so far, still with the Girlfriend. Our dog is great! Barks a lot, though!

I went to my family doctor this week who agreed with the specialist regarding my diagnosis of RSD. He has me off of work until March/2013! I just have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that it is very possible that I might not ever be able to go back to work. I am too young for this and I intend to do whatever I can to get back. My cousin Chris's wife Sally posted on my facebook page that now is a time for me to find a "new normal". I have decided that that is now my mantra. Whenever I start to feel sorry for myself, or useless, I remember what Sally told me. It's amazing that sometimes it's something as simple as Sally's comment to me that gives me the strength to get up off of the couch and get stuff done. 

This week I have purchased a Presto Card for use on the transit system. I have also purchased a pull buggy so I can walk to the grocery store or mall to shop. My legs still work so I will use them and hopefully lose some weight in the process!

Small steps, big gain!