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.


  1. Your flowers are looking beautiful. We have such short seasons I wonder why we bother sometimes, but next year we'll all be out at the garden centres buying more plants, lol. Eli looks so grown up with his new haircut, such a cute little guy.

  2. You aren't biased, he is adorable. Glad he has found out that haircuts aren't scary. I am craving one about now but out numbers are climbing so I will just hang in for a while.
    Probably a good idea to put off selling. Not the time to have people roaming through your house anyway.

  3. You have made MY day by sharing yours with us. I like all that you did, and with some variation I would be doing or have done, much the same. I have my favorite things to enjoy too after working...if I had a sun porch (so wish I did) what you and C did is what I would love to do...watching storms. I have a handsome young fellow of 5 coming to see me Tuesday! We are both of us, you and I, blessed.

  4. Oh and gosh, I LOVE the flowers.

  5. Gosh, we would love a bit of that cooler damp weather here in eastern Ontario.

  6. Your flowers are gorgeous and I adore lobelia. I really need to plant it in the shadier part of my yard.
    The little fellow is adorable and looks sharp after the non-scary haircut!

  7. Beautiful flowers Maebeme! All names, I'm not familiar with but lovely.
    You started with the overcast and cooler days and I was envious. we do need a break from our heat and humidity. Sounds like you had a nice rain storm on Saturday, hopefully we'll get some overnight tonight.
    Love the haircut on the little one. :)
    Nice to have a decision made on the house/moving. Now you can relax about it and enjoy your home. All things in time. Prices here and in our former city are crazy, still price wars going on but every province is different.
    Enjoy that beautiful sunroom!

  8. Your sun-room must be perfect for watching thunderstorms. I envy you that!

    As for sleeping in, I have to give the diabetes boys here their insulin at the same time every day, so if it's at five o'clock on work-days, it's at five o'clock every day. The good thing is that on days off, I nap. I love my naps.

    I've not heard of a bacopa but, when I looked it up, I recognised the name hyssop; beautiful pastel hues...

  9. Ill take your temps, it's 100 degrees for today. you have a beautiful sun room


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