Monday, 5 August 2019

Weekly wrap-up

Before I get babbling on, I thought I'd address Kim's comment about my energy level.  I have to say, it is far easier to be energetic now that I'm retired.  When I was working, I used to come home and crash on the couch after dinner.  I have to assume it was due in part to being mentally tired, but I think for a least the last year or so at work (probably more) I was also mildly depressed.  I wasn't enjoying my work environment...which resulted in this new blog as those of you who followed me previously know.  These days, I sleep far better than I did back then getting up only once a night and despite Sasha's best efforts to wake me between 5:30 and 6 a.m. for his breakfast I wake up rested and ready to tackle the day.  

Besides that, I can putter at something for as long as I like.  Well unless, of course, there is a showing.  But really there are no deadlines, just self imposed ones.  As a friend of mine once said to me, "when I retire I plan to do nothing all day.  If I get half of it done everyday I'll be happy."  Best of all, for the most part, what I need and want to do are things I generally enjoy.  Maybe not the vacuuming...but pretty much everything else is okay.

Back to the weekly update.  On Monday I was out the door shortly after 8 a.m. to go downtown to work on the garden project at the Canadian Cancer Society's office.  Here are a couple of photos of the "after".  
The one on the left is closest to the main entrance, gets the most sun so is more filled in.  The opposite view is on the right and you can see there is lots of room for more plantings.  Actually I plan to split some of the day lilies (once I figure out when is best to do so), and move some volunteer plants to the center of the bed.  That is, after I finish with the other bed which is on the in the shade of the tree (top right of the photo on the right).  It's even shadier and although I haven't checked it out, it appeared less weedy than this bed.

In the 5 1/2 hours I weeded, I removed three garbage bags of weeds, including thistles, creeping Charlie, purslane, and the bane of my existence quack grass!  I hate quack is so difficult to get rid of.  Since this is the cancer society, no chemicals can be used.  Thus I'm digging by hand to try to get the roots as far down as I can.  I figure once the second bed is complete, I shouldn't need to weed more than once a week.  I do think I'll ask if the office will invest in a few bags of mulch as it would definitely keep the weeds at bay as well as hold the moisture.  If not, I may just see if I can find some on sale and donate it.

On my way home I stopped at one of the Pet stores...there are so many, PetSmart, Pet Valu, Petland - I can't remember which one I went to.  I picked up some enzyme cleaner for cats stains and urine, and also a black light.  I'm still getting comments that some (not all) of the viewers can smell the cats.  This stuff is expensive but I'm hoping this will be the thing that "clears the air".  I spent the afternoon washing the walls and doors in the front hall, living room, kitchen and hallway.  There definitely was an indication of something on the wall at the front door and foyer so I just kept going.  I diluted the cleaner with very hot water and when I went back over the area with the black light later that night, whatever was there was gone.

Tuesday I tackled the bedrooms and bathrooms upstairs before heading down to the basement to clean the carpet.  I did not dilute the cleaner for the carpet, and gave some of the set in stains a good work over.  I had washed the walls last week with Mr. Clean and the black light only picked up a few areas where I didn't clean well enough. Once the carpets were dry I went over those spots.  I also scrubbed down the laundry room, the furnace room, and area in the back where I'd pulled out the carpet several years ago.  I figured the more I cleaned the more likely I am to find the problem areas.  Meantime I was in the midst of doing laundry...the clean sheets for my bed that evening were sublime!  

Wednesday brought another showing, at 10:30 in the morning.  In and out in 20 minutes according to the e-mail notices I got. Definitely not promising.  I used the time to run a couple of errands so at least there was that.  In the afternoon I headed to the library again to meet the stitching group. There were only four of us there but it was a nice couple of hours working on my latest project and chatting.  These ladies are all very experienced stitchers and quilters and while I'm not doing any of those crafts at the moment I'm learning lots of great tips.

Saku checking out my purchases
On Thursday I had nothing planned and no showings booked.  It was such a relief to get up and know that I could just do whatever I wanted.  I did a few chores, had a couple of cups of coffee and my breakfast before heading out to Value Village for the 1/2 price sale on summer clothing.  I was able to find two pairs of capris, a tank and a brand new t-shirt for a $13!  In addition I picked up two fleece jackets for Eli for $9.  These weren't on sale.  On the way home I stopped at Salvation Army as D was also looking for a rain jacket for Eli.  I found one for less than $6.  I also picked up a couple of books to read for $2. Considering the listed price on the books was $36 this was my best buy of the day.  

The rest of the day was spent crocheting (sometimes with Saku's help), reading, and watching television.  Our temperature was up into the 30C so it was a good day to stay indoors and simply relax.  Our Riders played that evening and one so it was a even better day!  Friday was much the same, hot and humid so I stayed indoors for most of it before meeting friends for dinner.   Ditto for Saturday including going for dinner.  Yeah I was very lazy.

The heat let up on Sunday and  I woke to a rather cool 14C (57F).  A perfect day to do a bit of yard work outside, some baking inside, and more crocheting.  First up though was a video chat with my adorable grandson.  When he gets the phone from his mom, he races upstairs to his room and we sit in his tent.  I usually end up upside down on the floor so I told him, "it's dark in here".  He immediately repeated it to me...he's a real little mimic.  There are also a lot of unintelligible sounds - at least to me - that only he and his mother seem to understand.  His vocabulary is definitely increasing and with the mimicry I reminded his mom to be careful what she says!

I did get outside to do a bit of yard work.  I watered the containers, refilled the bird bath, picked up pine cones, and pulled some weeds.  My neighbour was out as well so we had a visit across the fence.  She's recuperating from back surgery about halfway through her 12 week recovery.  I'd say she's doing well as I've seen her puttering in the yard and enjoying company on the deck.  She said that she's even managing the stairs in the house so that's a great sign.  Next up a hip surgery!  Wow, I'm so grateful to be in general good health.

Back indoors I pulled a couple of bananas out of the freezer, a zucchini out of the crisper and put together three mini loaves of banana bread and three zucchini loaves.  I probably should have done that prior to the outside work as it had warmed up considerably.  But I was on a mission...and the house sure smelled good!

And then, of course I got a call from the real estate agent asking for a showing that afternoon.  I spent the next 60 minutes or so cleaning up the kitchen, washing the living room, laundry room, and furnace room floors, and dusting and straightening things up.  Then, of course, they were only in the house for 15 minutes or so.  Anyone want to bet me a million billion dollars the back yard was too small?  I'm guessing not. :)

Monday is a statutory holiday here in Canada.  I'd quite forgotten about it and have planned to go do some more weeding at the CCS office.  I'll still go, and take my own tools and garbage bag, as I'd like to get that last bed cleared before I start regular maintenance.  It will be quiet downtown, the weather will be cooler, and I'm sure I can finish it off in a couple of hours.   

We haven't had any storms this week, so I'll sign off with a photo my brother sent me from an earlier storm.  The storm clouds were building above the old stone house, what a sight!

Have a great week everyone!


  1. Your remarks about retirement and our level of energy is bang on. Today is a day of no committment for us, being the holiday helps, so we lounged in bed until 7:30!!
    Good for you striving to diminish the cat smells, sometimes it takes a non cat person to smell them. When we purchased our small home, it was evident in only a couple of carpeted rooms of which we soon replaced so good on you for taking the time.
    The Cancer gardens look great and will be even better as you get creative with the plants. There are homemade remedies for killing weeds w/o chemicals but you would have to Google it. I've used cow salt as well as vinegar and water.
    Congrats on the V.V. clothing! Love those deals, sometimes you just need to take the time and look. You did great! I have a couple of black bananas in the freezer too so should make Bill some bread soon.
    Love the storm cloud bubble.

  2. So glad that you are retired, especially from a job area, where you were not at ease. Our bodies appreciate less stress! And repay us, with a smoother life! -smile-

    To be able to do, what we choose, most days, is a joy. I say "most days," as there are always things, which _have_ to be done, _now_! Like your calls, to get ready for a showing. ,-)

    A black light! Did not know such existed, to check for stains. Wonderful. Certainly helpful, with this issue. We can't seeeeeeee a dried stain.

    Put bananas in freezer when they are getting over ripe!!! Brilliant. Probably have read this before, but...... I'd forgotten! -smile-

    ♥ ♥ ♥

  3. I am very new here, so perhaps it is "bad" blogging etiquette, but..... Would you consider making the size of your blogged words, larger? My eyes are older. I admit that. And it is oh so much easier, to read blogs, with bigger sized print.

    Perhaps you could ask your Dear Readers, if enough of them, would also like bigger print? And then you could make your decision.

    Please just consider...

    Thank you.

    ♥ ♥ ♥

  4. To wisps of words: You can hold down the control key (on a Windows-based system) and hit the plus key to enlarge the text in your browser window or do it via the menu. I view this blog at 120%, but some I have to read at 133%!

    Eileen: I can only hope that after retirement my energy will rebound. I dislike my job...not the people in our little sub-department, but the work is mind-numbingly boring and meaningless to me and has been for years. Not a lot of options for work in this city, though, especially for someone of my age and background. On the plus side, most of my work is project-based, rather than admin (which I hate) even if I don't give a rat's butt about any of it. So that exhausts me daily, frankly.

    OMG, your cleaning!!!! OMG, OMG, do I have to do that much cleaning to eventually sell this place? Aaacckkkk! You can probably eat off every single surface in your house. People are nuts to pass it up. And a smaller backyard means less weekly grass-cutting and maintenance, duh. If they want a half-acre, look out of the city! Sheesh.

    Great V. V. finds! They're having a half-price on Monday the 12th here, though I doubt I'll go. I like the pre-sales they usually have for "members" on the Sunday before. Not sure they're doing that this time, though. I see that one of the tee-shirts is brand new too! Even better. I've spent a fortune at V. V. lately, mostly on capris, but I'm so hard to fit on the bottom end that when I find something, I have to get it. Oh well, it's still cheaper than shopping in the stores in the mall!

    Anyway, enjoy the rest of the holiday and good luck with finishing up the gardens. My thought, reading your post,was MULCH, but then you mentioned it. :-)

    Take care!

  5. I am really impressed with your energy. Wow. Five and a half hours weeding is at least equal to a day and a half of office work. Like that you are baking. I had a realtor once tell me that baking bread before a showing is a great idea. Gives the house a great and homey smell. Hope you get a serious nibble soon.

  6. You keep busy! Those gardens look great! :)

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  8. Five and a half hours' weeding! Good Heavens, retirement has indeed energised you. Like Kim, I dislike my job; as she does hers, I find mine boring and meaningless. Being in the print industry means that ninety per cent of what I design gets thrown into the trash as soon as it reaches its destination: flyers, business cards, pamphlets. It's a job that's necessary for my life, but not important to it. And like Kim, there are few options in my town for someone of my age and experience. I look forward to two times in my day: lunch-time and home-time. And I am dead tired when I arrive home, though that's when the chores must start.

    But on the plus side... Hmm, I'll get back to you about that.

    Meanwhile, I'll admire that wonderful storm brewing in the picture. That house looks like just the sort to be in as the clouds gather. I do love a good thunderstorm, especially in the evening twilight!

    (Earlier comment deleted due to spelling errors. I hate seeing those after I've published a comment...)

  9. My goodness - you are FULL of energy. Your days are incredibly busy. I love that last photo of the storm. Beautiful.

  10. Girl, you are amazing! Completely amazing. I was like that but I'm not any longer. But I still can get a few things done. :-)


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