Sunday 26 July 2020

Hot and cold, and inbetween

Before I start my weekly litany of the week that was, I want to say thank you to everyone who commented about the photos in the last post.  While I may be the one holding the camera, it does most of the work.  I just take a bazillion photos and only select the best of these to share...there are a lot of duds in the bunch. But I appreciate your kindness. :)

Another enjoyable week is almost in the books.  There wasn't any big lottery win nor did Covid-19 finally disappear (as once was promised), instead I enjoyed  the routine of my days, lovely weather including a dramatic light show, and a visit with a good friend.

Last weekend I received an order from Amazon containing the new curtains I purchased for the sun room.  The old ones were at least 10 years old and showing wear and tear, the result of a kitten (Sheldon) who liked to climb, and fading from the sun.  I had been looking locally but everything was so expensive and no one had 12 curtains of the size I needed in stock.  I was thrilled to find two curtains for the price I would have paid for 1 locally, there was ample stock,  and good reviews on Amazon.  Too, I had a $50 Amazon gift card that paid for the taxes, and with free shipping it was a no-brainer!  I got them hung on Sunday morning, and I'm so pleased with them.

These are considered theatre style curtains, as they are lined.  As you can see they definitely keep out most of the light!  I'm not sure that cats are happy but I certainly am.  On Tuesday, I had the curtains closed for much of the day, and my a/c didn't cut in until 7:15 p.m. when normally it would have been running by mid-afternoon.  I didn't even close up the sun room door to the house. It wasn't a terribly hot day and later in the week I was back to shutting the sun room up earlier in the day.  When the cats come in and lay on the cool linoleum in the kitchen I know it's time! 

That evening I looked out to see what appeared to be a very big robin on the back fence.  I grabbed the camera so I could zoom in and see it better.  I'm assuming it is a fledgling robin just losing its baby feathers (probably not the right term but you understand).  

It was a bit shy, keeping its head turned away from me for many of the photos but with I did manage to capture the side view.

Tuesday I did my grocery shopping circuit, mowed the lawn, did some weeding, and spent a bit of time out on the front patio.  The next day my friend K came for a socially distanced visit on the back deck in the afternoon.  It was a hot day but with the breeze and moving the chairs around for some shade we had a lovely visit.  It has been a few weeks so we had lots to catch up on.  The cats may or may not have gotten their dinner later than normal.  

On Thursday, the forecast was for heat and thunderstorms throughout the day.  It was quite nice for part of the morning, so I headed up to do some more weeding.  I noticed that the siding on the garage looked dirty and there was a streak of something (I thinking bird doo-doo) that needed cleaning.  So I grabbed a bucket of water and a mop and scrubbed it off.  It wasn't the best idea as the dirt behind the siding kept running down the wall.  I had to work at it to get it reasonably clean.  This wall doesn't generally get rain since it's shaded by the overhang above the walkway leading into the house.

The thunderstorms didn't materialize during the day.  After my clean-up I sat outside on the front patio and read, but I didn't stay too long.  It was so humid out there it wasn't comfortable.  I kept an eye on a local website that tracks the thunderstorms, and provides a link to the radar.  Shortly after 9 p.m. the storms arrived and the light show began and didn't end until after 11 p.m.  I did take a brief video of it, but it's too big and I've no idea how to edit it so you'll just have to imagine a constant lightning in the sky.  Much of it was sheet lightning, or cloud to cloud, rather than the dramatic strikes.  We got enough of those too, and lots of rumbling thunder.  

Friday was an indoor day, it got hot early in the day and the humidity was high from the rain the night before.  I didn't do a whole lot, caught up on some television programs, played on the computer, worked on a jigsaw puzzle, talked to my daughter and brother on the phone, did up a few dishes from the night before and prepped dinner.  These are the simple joys of being retired.  As friend J once said, when retired I plan to do nothing all day and if I get half of it done I'm satisfied.  It was that kind of day.

We had a lovely cool down overnight Friday into Saturday, so I headed out early for a walk.  It's been a few days and it felt good to be moving.  I walked my usual route and was surprised to see more duck families with young chicks.  Perhaps the first brood was lost to predators?  I won't share more photos of the ducks since I've done so in the past several posts.  Here instead are a few photos of the flora.

I'm so happy to see the reeds growing along the side of the pond again.  
After my walk I was ready to relax for a bit. Perfect timing for my friend S to call!  We spent about an hour catching up.  She's back in the north after spending some time with her newest grandchild, and has just eight weeks to go before she retires.  

Later I mowed the lawn again.  With the heat and the rain the grass is growing like crazy - it was a mere four days since I mowed last.  I still have a few spots where the grass died, but these are filling in nicely.  I also removed several plants from a container, moving them to the leftover bed.  They weren't doing well in the container, in fact, I'd lost one, so I'll see how they do in the ground.

The other day, the weather man suggested that the weekend would be chilly and I though to myself, what an idiot - it may be cooler than we've had but not chilly.  This morning, he proved me wrong.  Shortly after 6 a.m., the temperature was a mere 12C (54F).  I had left the windows in the sun room open and with the breeze blowing threw, it definitely felt chilly but has warmed up nicely since then.  Definitely a day to get outdoors, spend some time on the deck, and I've a book that's calling out to me.

Have a great day, and week ahead, everyone.  Take care and stay well! 

Sunday 19 July 2020

A mostly relaxing week

My week started out with a visit from my favorite (and only) grandson.  D and Eli drove in on Sunday and headed back home Monday afternoon.  She had a doctor's appointment planned and as it turned out this little guy needed to see the doctor too.  He had gotten a bug bite sometime on the weekend and it had gotten infected. I suspect a little boy might have scratched it with dirty fingers.  D called the 811 health line for assistance but they didn't feel he needed to see the doctor; G'ma did not agree because his arm was swollen, hot to the touch and quite red.  D was able to get an appointment for him on Monday morning, and we used anti-allergy meds and Polysporin ahead of the visit.  The doctor provided a prescription for antibiotics and it has cleared up nicely.

Apparently it didn't hurt, or at least it didn't slow Eli down any.  We spent some time at the nearby park, walked down to the pond to see the geese and ducks, he played in the yard, drove the G'ma car to Tim Hortons, hung out in the basement with Uncle C, and gave Sasha gentle hugs.  He found my level with a laser light and he and Saku played chase the dot.  Maybe someday Saku will learn to tolerate the kid.

After they left for home on Monday, I puttered around and did a bit of tidying.  D called when they got home; they had followed a storm on their drive and it had hit their town quite hard.  There were tree branches down all over, a large one in front of her house and another one in front of the neighbour's.  But her friend F fared worse, as a tree had toppled and landed on the roof of their home.  The power lines were affected too, so they were without power for several hours.  I'm grateful there wasn't any more damage but it was bad enough.

Tuesday I wanted to get my housework out of the way in the morning so I could spend some time outside in the afternoon.  The darn phone just wouldn't stop ringing so eventually I started ignoring it.  I missed a call from my friend S but I'll catch up with her later.  She is visiting with her daughter and new grandbaby, a sweet little girl, and calls when everyone else is napping.  

I still managed to take care of most everything I wanted to get done, three loads of laundry, bathrooms, cat litter, and washing floors by shortly after 1 p.m. I stopped then to have a bite to eat, before heading out to the backyard.  I mowed and did some weeding before sitting with my book and my water for an hour or so.  I got a treat when C came home, as he was craving pizza so ordered dinner for both of us.  I had planned to cook, but that waited until Wednesday morning.

Although I had intended to wait until later in the week, Wednesday was shopping day.  D had asked me to pick up a prescription for her and since I was going out for that reason, it made sense to get the rest of the shopping done.  However, when I got to the drug store I learned her prescription wouldn't be available until later in the day.  Oh well, I figured I may as well finish the shopping.  Pet Valu was first on the list for the cat litter and then Safeway for a few groceries.  I headed home and just as I was finishing putting them away, the drug store called to say the prescription was ready.  So back I went to the store where I completed the pick up and mailed them out to D.

At home, I sauteed some ground beef, split it into two portions and made taco meat with one portion, and a sort of hamburger stew with the second.  We had those meals later in the week as there was leftover pizza from the night before to use up.  While I was doing my little bit of cooking I chatted with my brother R.  He's off work on a week's vacation but it ain't no holiday.  Between working on the house in town (he and his wife bought her mother's house from the estate), driving his wife to and from work, and the farm yard chores he's been busy.  However, he did get approval to take a couple of days to visit the Grasslands National Park with his daughter.  (This was later shortened to one night - she who must be obeyed had a list of things to be done before the week end.)

The rest of the day was spent puttering.  I finished clipping the lower branches of the evergreen in the front yard and filled the bin again!  In back, I added some more soil and grass seed, and watered the lawn.  I've only a few small spots left as it is finally filling in.  I noticed that the weeds are starting to get big again...but I left those for another day.  It's a never ending battle.

I awoke to another sunny day on Thursday.  I think back to last summer, I was so busy trying to keep the house show room perfect that I don't recall having much time to just enjoy the weather and time outdoors.  I'm definitely making up for it this year!  There wasn't much on my own to-do list for the day, so a walk was in order.  A couple of my favorite photos from that day:

Is there anything cuter than baby animals?  Mama duck was staying nearby to keep an eye out while they fed.  The pink/purple spots you see are the thistle flowers, out of focus of course, since I wanted to capture the little ones.

Arriving home, I read out on the front patio for awhile before deciding it was a good day to tackle the garage.  If you recall, I'd spent some time in there last week cleaning the floors.  Today, I tackled the clutter, reorganized boxes, recycling, tools, brooms, paint supplies, and so forth.  I wiped down the shelving units, and swept the floor again, getting under shelving, and work bench.  Then, just for fun I washed it again (I'm joking, it wasn't that much fun).  It looks so much better out there and should last a week or two.  I need to take some electronics for recycling and a few boxes of items to the thrift store - I'm not sure if the latter is accepting donations at this time.

Friday started off cloudy but the sky cleared and it got hot (for me).  I spent the morning sewing masks, one each for me, D and Eli, and another for J, Eli's father.  He'll be flying in to Regina on August 19 and staying for week.  D will pick him up at the airport (and drop him off).  I know he has to wear a mask on the flight, but I suspect that's a disposable.  D hasn't tried to get Eli to wear a mask but they are recommended for children over 2 years old.  I believe, if he sees his daddy wear one, Eli will be more compliant.  I guess we'll see.  

I enjoyed my lunch on patio and read for awhile before heading over to Canadian Tire to pick up a couple of plastic containers that were on sale.  I want to reorganize my sewing room and these will be handy for material, patterns and other supplies.  I also stopped by the Dollar store to get three folding cubes.  I've filled these with yarn and need a few more! 

Saturday, the morning started with a light rain, and I woke up with a stiff neck and accompanying headache.  I assume I slept funny - I recall being awake several times during the night unable to get comfortable.  I made a pot of coffee and took a couple of Tylenol, but after talking to my daughter about 7:30 I gave up and went back to bed.  She woke me at 11:15 - I'm not sure how long I might have slept if she hadn't called.I spent the rest of the day not doing much of anything.  I watched some television I'd PVR'ed, crocheted, watched some curling, crocheted, made dinner, watched more curling, did more crocheting.  Even so, I was ready for bed once the final curling draw was over.  

Today, I've got a few things in mind but for the moment, I'm reading blogs, drinking coffee, and enjoying the morning.  It's a good day!

Take care and stay well!

Sunday 12 July 2020

Getting out while I can

It's mid-week already as I start this post.  Not entirely sure where the time goes, but it sure does.  Despite no social life these days (though it was never really much) I never run out of things to keep my mind and body busy.

Monday I needed to pick up a prescription for D, so I decided since I was out, I'd take a run to Costco.  It's the first time since February when I was last in the store.  I probably won't go back for a while, I was not impressed with their Covid-19 measures.  Carts were not sanitized, just left in rows outside the store, and while a number of the customers were masked, many were not nor were many of the workers. There didn't seem to be any limit on the number of people in the store, and few arrows in the aisles.  Not that anyone was paying much attention.  I went prepared with my baggie of Lysol wipes, did my best to avoid being close to people, and got in and out of the store as quickly as possible.

You'll probably shake your head at this, but I went specifically to get clothing for my adult children's Christmas gifts.  I follow a blog that details the sale items each week for the western Canadian Costco's. There were both men's and women's t-shirts, leggings for women, and men's briefs on sale.  I picked up a t-shirt and leggings for D, a t-shirt for C, and a two piece short set for Eli.   I paid just over $40 for all four items so was quite pleased. By the way, for those who may not be keeping track, it's less than six months until Christmas. 

I also bought this mat for the sunroom on sale.  As you can see Saku likes it!  I'd seen it on the blog, liked it, but didn't think I'd purchase but when I saw it in the store, it just jumped into my cart.

From there I went to Winners, another store I haven't been in for months.  I was looking for pillows as mine have lost their oomph.  I prefer a firm pillow.  I may has well not bothered, as there was limited goods on the shelves.  I'm not sure if they sent stuff back while they were closed or if people have been shopping like mad since they re-opened.  In any event I won't go back again in the near future.

Walmart was my next option, and I did find two pillows there for $10 each.  After I got home I replaced the pillows on the bed with the new ones, lay back to test them out...and dozed off!  

Much of Tuesday was spent in the garage or outdoors.  I cleaned the door leading into the house, as it was pretty filthy, pulled the wooden step away and cleaned behind it, and then I used some of my leftover paint to repaint the step.  I also swept the floor, and started mopping it.  I have been thinking I might paint the floor as it has gotten stained over the years.  However everything I've read suggests this isn't a good idea because the paint will peel when we drive over it. I wonder if bleach would help take out the stains? 
Outside, the spruce trees just won't stop dropping pine cones, the grass keeps growing, and the containers need watering.  After mowing the lawn I filled the wheelbarrow about 3/4's full of pine cones, pine needles, leaves and other debris.  The spruce out front has spread it's branches over the patio, so I cut those back and bagged the debris before loading it into the garbage bin.  I still need to go around front and trim those branches back but the bin was nearly full at this point, and wouldn't be picked up until Thursday.

It was a hot day (29C/84F) so by the time I finished I desperately needed a shower.  I was talking to D, and she said Eli wanted to call me but would wait until I was done with my shower.  When I was feeling human again, I called him back and this was his response: "Hi Grandma, bye Grandma."  I said, Eli Grandma wants to talk to you.  He replied, "No Grandma, I said bye!"  He certainly has no difficulty in speaking his mind. :)

That evening, I watched the radar closely as we had a ridge of storms heading our way.  About 9 p.m. we had some lightning and thunder but there wasn't a great light show.  However we did get a bit of rain which is always appreciated...saves on the water bill.

By Wednesday I was ready for an easy day.  I caught up on some television programs, crocheted a bit, and in between programs did a few household chores.  
I don't believe I've posted a picture of the latest baby blanket.  This is one of the three for my daughter's friend.  The second one is about half done and is a mint green color.  The third blanket's color will be determined when the mom has her ultrasound and knows the genders - I have both pink and blue yarn in the stash.

I also found a use for the old pillows that I replaced.  I'd bought some towels at Walmart on clearance a few weeks ago that I thought I could use in the sunroom.  But these turned out to be smaller than the ones I use now.  At $4 a piece I kept them because I figured I could use them for something.
I determined the towel folded in half would fit nicely over the pillow with an overlap of about 6-6 1/2 inches.  I pinned and then sewed up the sides before inserting the pillow.  I had thought I might tack down the flap, but decided to look for some buttons to decorate the edge instead.
I have a bag of buttons, gathered up over the years, some from old clothing, a few from my mom's sewing cabinet, and a few that I picked up at thrift stores.  I found two packs of embossed buttons that I figured were pretty old. When I looked at the card I realized how old - in case it isn't clear in the photo it's dated 1965 and the price was $1 for four buttons! I'm pretty sure these once belonged to my mom.  She started sewing in earnest about that time. I wonder what project she had in mind.

For just $10 (excluding taxes and the time value of money) and a minimal amount of effort, I have two new-to-me couch cushions.  They're washable too, bonus! Saku seems to like them too. 

Our weather has been wacky, with a day of heat followed by a few days of cool temperatures.  Thursday I woke to rain and overcast skies.  There went any plans to be outdoors.  I received an e-mail that Michaels was having a 60% off sale, so after a bit of housework I masked up to go see what I could find.  Surprise, surprise (not) some yarn fell into my cart.  I think I know what I want to make with it, and will share more when I start that project.  I'm pretty certain it won't be around in 55 years for someone else to use.

Michaels is across the parking lot from Walmart, so I stopped in there to get eggs, tomatoes, and something I couldn't remember so I wandered the store to see if I could find it.  (It was bananas and I didn't get any.) Imagine my surprise when I found more yarn on sale! Naturally a few skeins needed to come with me. Again I have some ideas for this yarn but suspect it will be awhile before I get to it.  I've added another task to the list, to clean the craft room and sort the yarn.  And for the next while I'll spend more time crocheting and knitting than weeding...I hope.

I leave the sunroom overnight - it cools the house off and on warmer days I find my a/c doesn't cut in until the afternoon.  I close it up when it starts getting too warm, though the cats don't seem to mind.  Friday, though it was a bit cool with an outside temperature of 10C/50F. But the day was promising with sunshine and a high of 24C/75F.  While I was talking to D, I mixed a small batch of coffee cake muffins to use up some sour cream in the fridge.  With a topping of brown sugar, cinnamon, and chopped walnuts they were delicious!  

After I went for my walk, and then  posted about it (see Friday), I puttered around in the backyard for awhile, watering the lawn, deadheading, and pulling the pea pods off the plants.  It shouldn't have been a surprise but every pod was empty, and the shells well chewed.  I think the bunny beat me to them!  There are more flowers coming so maybe I'll have a chance to sample them another time.  Then I sat and relaxed, did some crocheting, talked to D briefly, and read.  

I'm so glad I spent the time outdoors because that evening we had another line of storms blow through, but this time with a ridiculous amount of rain.  It started raining just before 7 p.m. and I snapped this photo close to 8 p.m.  I guess I didn't need to water the lawn earlier in the day.  
It rained for at least another hour or so.  I don't have a rain gauge but according to the weather stats website we got about three quarters of an inch. I certainly won't need to water for a while!

Saturday was pretty much a relaxing day.  I made up some potato salad for dinner, cleaned the bathrooms, crocheted, watched television - including an old curling game from 1993, talked to D and Eli on the phone.  Nothing strenuous and nothing exciting.  Perfect day!

Today appears to be much of the same, except...I'm getting visitors later today. We'll probably head over to the local splash pad or I'll set up the sprinkler in the back yard.  Either way I'm going to enjoy the peace and quiet of this's going to get nosy soon.

Have a great week everyone!

*A note to Cheapchick - Please know you and your family will be in my thoughts at this difficult time. There are no words to express my sorrow at hearing this news.  May your be granted joy in every day as you move this journey.

Friday 10 July 2020

My wild life

I went for a walk this morning, taking along my camera AND a camera card. I did have to stop at one point to change out the battery, this time I was prepared.  When I got home I realized I'd take close to 90 photos, so although I've started this week's post I'll do this separately (and you won't see all 90 photos...sometimes the camera lens doesn't see what I think it will).

My route takes me through a small park about a block from my home.  Today I saw a bunny but it was smarter than I am, and while I got glimpses there are no photos.  This park is well treed and I noticed lots of branches down from the recent winds.  Once through the park, I reach a main street where I cross into another park.  It backs onto a school yard on one side and condo units on the other.  It's has less trees and I noticed the clover is blooming throughout.  I bet the bunnies are enjoying that...though if they were there they were laying low. Further along I noticed the city is allowing the grass in certain areas to grow tall.  Again, great hiding spot for the bunnies.

The path leads to the shallow creek with a bridge crossing.  It was here that I that I found the killdeer and I actually heard them before I saw them.  It's the first time I've seen them at the creek, and there were two pair!
Edit - Okay, this is NOT the killdeer - I grabbed the wrong photo.  It is a duck obviously, a mallard.
Here's the Killdeer...

I'm not certain if this one was nesting or not. I suspect not, because most times they'll run like the dickens away from it to avoid it being seen.
All along the creek were families of ducks.  Since they all looked pretty similar I won't share a bunch of photos.  I though this was cute though...mama is keeping all her ducks in a row. 

If my research is correct, this is a Marbled Godwit.  The first photo is a little dark, but I caught it in mid-stride, I think the second photo will be easier to make out the markings.  I've never seen one before, and what I found most interesting was it's movements, it kept bobbing it's head up and down, and the call, which sounded almost like "welp".  I suspect there was another nearby, perhaps close to where I was walking though it was hidden, because the bird seemed to be a bit agitated by my presence.

I left it in peace and walked on to cross the street to take me to Riverbend.  A walker passing by told me there were pelicans at the pond!  I haven't seen them there before, though have seen them elsewhere.
First though, I spotted this pile of ducklings.  Aren't they just adorable?  I had stopped to change out the battery, sitting at a nearby bench.  They couldn't have cared less that I was there.

And here they are!  Another walker said there had been eight of the birds earlier this week.  She lives in a condo unit that looks out over the pond, lucky woman! I'd get nothing done in the spring I'd be so busy watching the action.  Speaking of action, I was fortunate to see the pelicans fly off.

They look so awkward when the start off but are quite graceful in the air.
The cormorant was still hanging out there. (Thanks Fuzzy Gnome for identifying this one for me). It likes this perch but did go for a swim when the pelicans were flying overhead.
I always enjoy seeing the synchronized diving of the ducks.  There must be something good to eat down there.
I'm assuming these are a pair; again based on my research I believe they are American Black ducks.  The male has the yellow orange bill, while the female has a dull olive colored bill.  I'm excited to see a new species.

I left Riverbend, took a right turn and walked along the neighbourhood streets to the small wooded park.  In the park were a couple of noisy crows. No photo though I did caw back at them a couple of times. 
While I working on this post, I heard the sound of a different bird.  It was in my spruce but I couldn't see it.  A little while later I saw it fly over to the light standard across the street. It's not the best photo, but it's a woodpecker.

Not long after, I looked up to see a bunny hopping up my driveway.  When it spotted me, it stopped and hunkered down for a second, before it hopped under the spruce tree.  I think it's still there waiting for me to get out of the way so it can head for the backyard.  

What a wild life I lead!  On that note, I'm going to head to the backyard myself to relax on the deck.  Maybe bunny will join me. Have a great day everyone!

Sunday 5 July 2020

Keeping up, making plans, and simple joys

Here we are at the beginning of July, with six months until this nightmare that we call 2020 is over.  It is times like this, I wish I could see into the future and know that so much of what made this year so difficult is in the rear view mirror.  Since I can't, I'll keep muddling along doing what I need to do.

I can't say I got much done for the first half of the week.  We had rain in the forecast though it didn't materialize but was overcast and cool until noon on Wednesday.  As a result, I stayed indoors for much of the time, though looking back I ought to have at least gone for a walk!  Instead I vacuumed, did laundry, washed floors, washed dishes, and cleaned cat litter. 

C was off work on Wednesday for Canada Day.  I had full intentions of sleeping in that morning, but Sasha had other ideas. Who am I kidding, that is every day of the week. I'm not sure I even bother thinking I might get a sleep-in.  However when your cat is 20 years old, as Sasha is, you tend to grumble but be grateful he's still around.  
He does enjoy a good sunpuddle!  I'm sure it feels good on those old bones.

Thursday I woke to overcast skies...again, feeling very defeated as the forecast had been for sun.  It was warm though with a promise of heat to come later in the day.  After chatting with my daughter, I made a quick trip to the grocery store for some veg and fruit, and a bit of meat on sale.  Back at home, the sun had made it's appearance so after putting groceries away, I headed outdoors.  Those darn weeds have loved all the rain.  I pulled another grocery bag full from around the lower deck and shed.  The grass needed mowing, so that got taken care of as well.  

Once that was finished, I pulled up a chair, grabbed a cold container of water, and my book and settled in to relax and enjoy the sun and heat.  Oh, oh, the neighbour kitty-corner to me has a new toy.  I'm not sure if it is a generator or a power washer but it's noisy!  I gave up after 20 minutes or so, as I couldn't concentrate on my book.  But I have the front patio, so I simply moved around there.  Then the neighbour on the corner decided to vacuum his car while playing loud music. He has a small car so it didn't take long so I stuck it out until he was finished.  After an hour or so I'd had enough sun and headed indoors.  

Friday, I had big plans to do a deep clean of the sunroom.  I knew I needed to start early as the temperature was forecast to reach 29C (84F).  Even so, it was nearly 9 a.m. before I had finished my breakfast, chatted with D, and a few chores and got out there.  This photo was taken earlier in the spring, after I'd done a decent amount of cleaning, but not what I had planned for today.
I took the towels I use to cover the chairs and tossed these in the washer. The cushions that the towels protect have gotten stained over the years from cats and people spills. Sasha tends to eat his supper out there in the nicer weather, on one of the chairs, to keep him away from Saku.  Although Saku no longer eats Sasha's food (or not often) it's easier to have them feed in separate spaces.  Add in a a few coffee and other drink spills and the cushions needed a good scrub.  I took these out to the deck along with my Little Green machine and got busy.  I was able to get most of the cushions clean with a single good scrubbing, but there were two that needed a second go.  I left the cushions out on the deck to dry in the sun and I was happy with the results.  

Meanwhile I hauled out the two rugs that cover much of the floor and put them side by each on the lower deck.  I had originally thought I'd use the carpet cleaner on these but realized it would be a pain to haul the big machine upstairs.  Instead I gave the rugs a good brushing with a broom, then took a clean sprayer, filled it with a citrus smelling cleanser, attached it to the hose and soaked the rugs really well. I left these to dry in the sun as well.

Later when the rugs were dry, and I had vacuumed the sunroom, I moved everything back inside.  I rearranged the furniture, so that there is easy access to the coffee table and end tables.  The curtains are all closed because by the time I finished it was like an oven in there.  In fact, it was so warm I'd put both cats in the house while I finished up.  

I spent my time outdoors while the cushions and rugs were drying, either on the deck or out on the front patio.  Lunch was eaten al fresco at the patio table, with Spotify playing country music in the background.  I do so love days like this!  I finally got around to reading a magazine I bought two weeks ago, and did a home manicure outside as well.  Nail polish dries quickly in this heat. :)

The front flower bed is starting to come to bloom. It's in the shade most of the time with one corner getting a bit of sun in later afternoon.  I grabbed my camera and captured several photos, a number of which I'll share here.
This is a white Jacob's ladder.  It's a hardy perennial and does well in my mostly shade garden.
Below the Jacob's ladder (I love it's leaves) is this pink flower, which name I cannot recall.  I checked my garden book and I must not have kept the tag, as I only describe it as pinks.  I've got a few of these in the front bed and they are doing beautifully, lots of flowers and beginning to grow over the edging. 
Next up is a white bellflower.  To the left is bergenia, another pink to it's right, with a hosta and fern behind it.  This is the first bloom of the bellflower this year, and since it self seeds I expect to see a whole lot more this summer.  (I've been letting them seed and grow as they like but I'll probably thin them out in the fall).
These are the blooms on my spirea bush.  It's the first perennial I planted when we moved in here, ten years ago.  It never grows more than two to three feet tall, because the bunnies chew off most of it in the spring and fall.  Apparently it tastes good.  I don't mind as it seems to do well regardless, blooming every year.
The fuchsia isn't actually in the flower bed but in a hanging container above.  This is the first year I haven't bought a mature plant, but rather created my own container with fuchsia and purple and white bacopa.  I'm so pleased with how beautiful the basket looks, and especially how well the fuchsia are doing.

Another container that is doing well is in the back yard.  It gets lots of sun!
This container has calibrocha, with white, and blue and white variegated bacopa. I'm especially smitten with the latter.
Aren't they pretty?  I love the clusters of flowers!

Lastly in my "leftover" flower bed against the fence is this lobelia.  It's sharing space with a couple of impatience, and a couple of stocks.  There might even another lobelia in the bed, a blue if memory serves. This bed gets morning sun, and then is in the shade the rest of the day.  These little white flowers pop out and make me smile.

In the evening we had several thunderstorms roll through the area.  C and I sat in the sunroom for nearly 90 minutes watching the sky for the strikes and listening to the thunder roll.  It is one of my favorite things to do in the summer.  We got about a half inch of rain too, so I didn't need to water the containers on Saturday morning.  Our time was well spent; besides the storm watching we chatted about various things, memories from his childhood, things happening at his workplace (my former workplace), and what comes next for us.  Because of our discussion, we've decided we'll stay put for now. I'll continue to do the necessary improvements to the house over the next four or five years, and then we'll look at moving.  He's happy here, as am I, and it makes sense to wait for house prices to come back a bit.  I'll have to figure something out for the winter months - I may even consider a part-time job just to get me out of the house. Otherwise I tend to get cabin fever.  It is different in other seasons because being outdoors makes me feel good.  Yes, I can go out in the winter, but I'd rather not when it's so cold.

Saturday morning I woke to the sun and a noisy old cat who wanted his breakfast.  It was lovely 17C (63F) so I took my coffee to the sunroom.  We were forecast to reach 30C (86F) so I knew I'd have to shut up the room later in the day.  Best enjoy it while I can.  By mid-morning it was too warm for me, so I ventured inside while the cats stayed put, at least briefly.  When I saw both in the house splayed out on the kitchen linoleum, I knew it was time to shut the door between the two rooms.

I can't say I did much that day, just puttered around the house.  I did go out to deadhead the containers, hung a couple of pictures and a mirror in the house, did dishes, and washed the kitchen floor.  Mostly I played on the computer and watched television I'd PVR'ed in the last few days. 

I also had a couple of video chats with this handsome boy! Check out his haircut.  I might be a wee bit biased, but I think he's adorable.  He's always been afraid of a haircut, so his mom talked to him for several days in advance about what would happen.  When it was all said and done he told her, "haircuts aren't scary."  It probably helped that she bribed him with a treat from Tim Horton's after the cut. :)

Today we're expecting a bit of a cool down, so I'll try to be outside as much as possible. There is a possibility of thunderstorms in the morning, but for now it's clear and sunny.  I wandered out early to check the containers but with the exception of the tomatoes, the rest didn't need watering.  From my vantage point in the sunroom, I can feel a slight breeze, hear the birds singing their morning songs, and I see the neighbour's apple tree shows the promise of fruit to come.  The cats have been fed and are both now fast asleep.  There is nothing pressing that needs to be done, so I think I may just read and relax for much of the day.

Take care and stay well everyone!  Have a great day.