Sunday, 28 June 2020

Retired and just tired

Another busy week almost in the books, thank goodness.  As I start this post, Friday evening, I'm tired.  It's been a busy one!

It all started on late afternoon last Sunday, when I got a panicked call from my daughter.  Eli had run out of the house, she ran out after him, and managed to lock the two of them out of the house.  A call to the locksmith in the next town (none local) would have been expensive as it was after hours on a Sunday.  She had given me a set of keys when I was there earlier in the week, so asked if I would please drive out so they could get back in the house.  Sigh...I quickly packed a bag for an overnight stay and headed out the door.  

While waiting for me, D and Eli went for a walk to the park and happened to meet up with some friends.  F asked them back to her house for a visit while they waited.  I had stopped on my way out of town for fuel, and arrived at the house about 2 hours after her call.  Guess what?  The keys she had given me didn't work. 

She and Eli arrived back at the house while I was trying out the keys, over and over again, with the misplaced hope that maybe this time they'd work.  Nope.  The front sun room was open, so we tried removing the storm window from the living room window and tried to pry the inner window opened but it was painted shut.  All of the others are brand new and there was no way I wanted to break one to try to get it.  It was time to call the locksmith.

He promised to come out shortly, which meant another hour or so wait.  While Eli and I played in G'ma's car...he drives us to Tim Horton's for a cold's all make believe but he has fun, D was sitting on the step upset with herself.  She was rooting around in her purse to find something to amuse herself with, and guess what?  She found the set of keys she had meant to give me.  She quickly called the locksmith, who told her wouldn't call her a charge-out, he'd catch her the next time (positive thinker that guy), and we were in the house a few minutes later.  What a relief.

It did mean an unnecessary trip for me, but I got to spend some time with Eli, much sooner than I had anticipated, so I'll take it as a win.  D was able to run a couple of errands the next morning, while he and I went to the park. One of those errands was to have more keys re-cut!  I now have a proper set, as does her friend F, and the next door neighbour has allowed her to hide a set in her car-port.  Hopefully she shouldn't need to call that locksmith again.

I returned home on Monday afternoon, and can't say what I did for the rest of the day.  I know I did spend much of Tuesday and Wednesday doing yard work.  My front yard is xeriscaped, but those darn weeds don't care, especially along the edge of the driveway, sidewalk and patio.  There is also a crack in the front sidewalk and the weeds take hold in it as well.  I've no before photos to show you, I'd rather share photos of the the containers of flowers, and front flower bed.  Everything is growing well!

After weeding, I sprayed with a herbicide to keep the weeds down
The front flower bed is filling in nicely, though since the left side of the bed doesn't get a lot of sun, it takes longer.  In the back near the pot of impatience are columbines which are just starting to flower.  The tall plant in front is white Jacob's ladder, it has several flowers on it.  The other plants showing some color are annuals.

The containers are filling in nicely, though the ivy in the hanging pot hasn't done a lot yet.  I was hoping it would trail down the container.  There's lot of summer left yet so I remain hopeful.

I moved around to the back yard which needed lots of work. Definitely more than I intend to do this year. The edges of the gravelled area where the shed once stood where being taken over by weeds and I can envision were I not to take some action, would fill it in. The area behind it next to fence was chock full too, as well as near the fence line under the trees.  There is this one weed that is, for lack of a better word, sticky.  It has short roots so pulls out easily, but sticks to my gloves.  Very annoying.  Between the front and back yard, I filled five plastic shopping backs full of plant material, bits and pieces of chipboard, roofing material, and one more screw from that shed.  
It's not the prettiest back yard, but try to imagine it as I do in a year or so.  The grass and gravel area will be filled with new sod, there will be a proper path along the fence line, and the deck edge will be finished with something...I'm not sure what just yet.  

As well, I harvested a bunch of lettuce, enough for three salads or more, plus 15-20 radishes.  There is still at least that much lettuce, plus another dozen radishes still in the containers.  I'll plant more of both after I bring in the rest.

I also got out for some groceries this week, did a few loads of laundry, washed floors, cleaned cat litter...all the normal chores. Certainly nothing exciting.

Thursday got a little more exciting because D and Eli came for a short visit.  Yes, I know I saw them earlier in the week, but I do so enjoy spending time with this special boy and his mom.  We took Eli for a walk to the nearby park where the two of them played for a bit on the slide. He hollers "cheese" when he's ready for a photo.  

Back at the house, Eli stayed with me and his Uncle C while his mom ran some errands without his assistance, and then spent some time with a friend L.  We all had fun!  D picked up several pairs of shorts and a t-shirt for Eli, as well as two onesies (for F who is having twins in a few weeks), plus two premie sleepers (for her friend expecting triplets) for just $28 at a local thrift store.  The onesies were brand new!  She and L went for another walk while they chatted.  D said she really enjoyed the break.

After dinner, and lots of running and chasing his uncle, bedtime arrived for little Eli.  Usually he insists on having his mom at bedtime but he was quite content with me.  He's really growing up, listening and behaving well.  We're working up to a time when he might overnight with me so she can have some time to herself.

Friday morning, we went for an early walk as the day promised to be a hot one (16C/60F at 8 a.m., 31C/88F by mid-afternoon). We walked down to the creek to see the baby ducks, then over to Riverbend to see more ducks and some geese, with a stop at the park to play on the way back.  Later in the morning, I set up the sprinkler to water the back lawn  and Eli had some fun running through it and splashing in the puddles. (He has an appointment to get his haircut later this upcoming week...he looks a little Beatle'ish right now).

We came indoors, and he watched a couple of cartoons while he ate some lunch.  Then he sat beside his mom on the couch and fell fast asleep.  She had to wake him about 30 minutes later because they had doctor's appointments.  Dr. J checked him out, Eli is at the 85th percentile for weight and 50th for height, and pronounced him perfect.  We agree!  Then it was into the car and they were headed home.  I talked her after they arrived, and Eli had slept the entire way.  I guess hanging out with Uncle C and G'ma is tiring.  I sure know the feeling as being with him is tiring for me too.

While they were driving, I had my own appointment for a hair cut.  Since there are no active (reported) cases here, I decided I'd take the risk.  I used hand sanitizer before I left home, wore my mask (now that was fun), and showered immediately when I got home.  We had to do some fancy maneuvering with the mask but the stylist got it done.  She must have cut off three inches off the back!  It's now a reasonable chin length bob, and once I get around to coloring it, I may even share a photo. 

Saturday was forecast to be another hot day, so I spent the morning in the back yard.  First, enjoying my breakfast and coffee, then I did a bit more yard work.  I spread some more soil on the bare spots, spread some seed and fertilizer before raking and tamping it down, and then watering again.  I understand that germination requires the appropriate levels of moisture, heat and oxygen.  I haven't quite figured out the blend as yet, but it is looking better than when I started.

I used the pruning shears to cut back some branches on the large spruce tree, as it was overhanging the deck and pathway on that side of the house.  It sure opened it up, and I expect my containers on that side of the house will get more light as a result too.  Bonus!  By then I was ready for a break, so sat and read a book until the back neighbours announced to their small child that they were having company.  I decided the front patio would be a better place to be, to allow them privacy and ensure my peace and quiet as well. The novel I finished reading is a story about a character from the Sherlock Holmes story, fictionalized by another author, Carole Nelson Douglas. It was an interesting story so I may look for other books in the series. 

By noon, I was back in the house, as it was hot and humid outside (26C/79F).  I would note that probably doesn't seem very hot to those who are more accustomed to temps in the 90's and 100's F, but it seems that way to me.  We also tend to be quite dry, but the humidity this day was over 70%.  The rest of the day was spent puttering around the house, doing a few chores but mostly relaxing watching television and/or video chatting with Eli.  He knows exactly what buttons he needs to push on the I-Pad to reach Grandma 'leen or Grandma Dar or Daddy.  D had to set time limits on the app, so that he cannot call before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m.  When that happens, the little stinker finds his mom's I-Pad and calls from it!  He called today to tell me about the spray pad at the park, and to watch cartoons with me while eating chocolate chips.  

Sunday I was awake just before 6:30, and my phone chirped to tell me I had a video call coming in.  I answered to "Hi Grandma, it's a morning!" from Eli. Apparently, D didn't set it properly last night.  

We had rain overnight, about a half inch if the mini bird bath is any indication. I was happy to see this, as it means I shouldn't have to water my containers today.  It does mean I won't get outside, at least until later in the day.  Oh well, there is lots to do indoors too.

I've started making up potato salad for dinner and pulled some chicken from the freezer.  Once it's thawed I'll toss it in some marinade and grill it.  I also need to wash the kitchen and living room floor.  After that I think I'll pull out some yarn from the stash to start another baby blanket.  Or maybe I'll do some sewing.  My life in retirement may not be exciting but it's never dull.  

Take care and stay well everyone! 


  1. Oh my, I had to laugh about the key story. I gave one neighbor a set as well just in case. I think it might be a good idea for me to hide a set somewhere as well, as I tend to lay them down in the garage when I go in - and oops!
    Eli sounds like a handful! What fun. Your stories make me smile. Kids are so sweet.
    Your yard is absolutely lovely!
    Have a good week.

  2. Oh, what an adventure with the keys! I have a spare set at the office, though it would be a pain to have to get there to get them.

    You had a great week, lots of grandma time with Eli. Gosh, he's growing up so quickly.

    Reading your posts, looking at your photos, makes me want a soudproofed condo with a huge, private balcony backing onto lovely green space. Lol. In other words, I always feel like such a slug, reading your updates, because I have no interest in doing any of the work that is so needed here. Kudos to you for your continued work both in and out of your house.

    Take care and have a great week,

  3. That was a bit of excitement with the keys. Couldn't believe it when yours didn't work. Still it all worked out OK and with all the extra sets, it won't happen again.
    You did get to enjoy lots of time with Eli--he is such a cutie. Envy you your hair cut. I still haven't had the courage yet. One of the newest cases here was a beautician. Might just let it grow out.

  4. Eli is a character, driving to Tim Hortons Lol. One time I locked myself in my backyard in my robe - hubby was out of town and I didn't have my cell phone. Mom has a key but lives 3 blocks away and even at 7 am I didn't want to walk there in my robe. Thank goodness we hide one behind a planter in our back yard. I got a haircut too, figured it was safe with no cases on the island (we now have 1 but near Victoria), do not want to imagine getting highlights though as 30 minutes was enough, nevermind 2 hours in a mask. I don't know how people who have to wear them all day do it (I am a mask supporter, just can empathaize with them)

  5. I love reading how things are doing and how things are coming along. Eli is a total absolute doll! I love his hair but for summer, he may want some cut. Smooches from all us grannies out here straight to himI got highlights while wearing the mask of course...whoo whee. I was glad to get to the car after a good hr. and a half there in the salon. I'm like Kim... I read all these super things you do and are doing..I really sincerely LOVE reading this blog. I wish I had the ability to do more (back and knees are a wreck. Work injuries). but I LOVE reading what you are doing. You have inspired me to a few things I may not have done otherwise.

  6. You have been busy! Your containers look great! Your Eli is such a cutie...I love his hair!

  7. the key thing is something I would do, since my middle name is absent minded, lo. We have slow and steady increase. housemate son is working as the kitchen manager and occasionally hanging out with his owrking firends, sister is only going to the store as needed (and did go to buy lots of plants and soil) and me, Ive gone nowhere.

  8. Oh, I hate wasted time. All that time and effort and the keys weere with her all along. But, as you wrote, you were able to spend time with Eli and your daughter. As for the back garden, I think it looks very attractive. I like neat, tidy spaces. I love nature and its inherent messes, but a garden should be neat.


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