Saturday 29 August 2020

What's next?

I saw a comment on another blog today that struck me, will 2020 eventually become a curse word?  For example, what the 2020! Sounds about right.

As many of you will know, I'm a bit of a news junkie.  The news this week just sucked big time - I won't go through a litany of the bad news because it's just too depressing. Here at home there has been another fentanyl overdose, this time a young man my daughter worked with. Not only has our city seen an increase in deaths this year, our police service has reported far too many reports where nalaxone had to be used to revive people.  Covid has raised it's ugly head too, with a family friend reporting that her SIL, BIL, and their two small children have Covid, and the person who they believe spread it to them is in the hospital on a ventilator.

To add insult to injury, my grandson's father J's flight on Tuesday morning was cancelled but he didn't realize it until he arrived at the airport so I had the pleasure of his company (as well as D and Eli) for 24 hours.  There was an e-mail advising a change in schedule but he didn't bother to call to find out what that change might have been.  They've learned that booking through a third party is not the best choice as the e-mail doesn't provide the details and a phone call has to be made to get it.  And the knucklehead (one of my nicer names for the guy) wasn't smart enough to realize it.

My first comment to D when they arrived at the house (about 5:45 a.m.), was "what the heck are we going to do with him all day", meaning J.  As far as I can tell, his only interests are playing video games, smoking, and gambling.  He was tired as he hadn't slept that night, so after we returned from a long walk, he went to sleep for about 3 hours.  Later in the afternoon, he and I took Eli outdoors and after I'd watered the containers, I put the sprinkler on the lawn so the two of them could run through it.  Eli was a little nervous and wouldn't run until G'ma did, then he had a blast yelling at his Dad to catch him.  Later, back in doors, Eil fell asleep on my lap; it's such a treat to cuddle him as it won't be long before he's too big...or least think he is.

The three of them went to bed early that evening (thankfully), so I had a couple hours to myself.  We were all up by 5 the next morning; D dropped J off at the airport and then headed off home.  She hadn't planned to stay the night, so she and Eli were both in the same clothing, and she was more than tired of J.  While he had assured her he would take care of Eli during his stay, the reality was he did not much more than entertain the child every so often so she could nap.  Not once did he help Eli brush his teeth, give him a bath, tidy up the toys, or help with dishes or laundry. He left a bunch of stuff behind, which he now wants her to mail to him. I think she has finally gotten to the point where she realizes he's pretty darn useless. Sadly, there is another little boy in his life now too, though from the sounds of it Prescott's mom takes no guff from J.  

I was exhausted myself when they left Wednesday, so didn't get a whole lot done until later in the day after a two and half hour nap.  I did get out in the morning to get a few groceries as there was a good price for coffee that ended on Wednesday.  Oh, and I made sure to check a flight radar site to ensure J's flights arrived in his final destination.  He had, hence the call to D to ask her for the items he'd left behind.  Priorities, right?

Thursday was a lovely day, as I met my friend K for lunch.  We met outside the restaurant and spent a few minutes on the patio before her partner J arrived.  He'd been golfing and decided to join us.  It was nice to see them both. After masking up, we went inside to order at the counter, get our drinks, then back outside.  They brought our meals out to us and we relaxed in the shade of an umbrella at our table.  The sun was warm, not hot, and there was a nice breeze.  Our conversation varied - while there isn't much new, we still can find lots to discuss.

That evening, I went out to bring in a towel that had been left on the deck and found two dead birds, a mama robin and a baby.  It appeared there had been quite a battle with bits of gore on the lower deck, while the two birds were on the upper deck.  I cleaned up the mess with tears in my eyes. I suspect it was crows as we've had several in the neighbourhood this week, with six in my front evergreen earlier.  I know it's the way of nature but it doesn't make it any easier to see.  When I came back from disposing of the birds, the male was in the tree but flew away when he saw me.  I'd heard him, but not seen him as I was cleaning up, so I wonder if he stayed there until they were gone.  Or maybe I'm projecting my feelings.

After several days of heat, we're trending down. Friday morning was down right chilly, 9C (48F)!  I'd left the door open to the sunroom overnight but closed for a couple of hours as there was quite the breeze blowing through. When I went for a walk later, I actually had to wear a hoodie...first time in months.

The signs of autumn continue to be more evident.  This spruce is covered in cones, I'm glad it isn't in my yard!

My favorite photo from the walk - I took it because of the wake behind the duck, and my camera saw more than I did.  I love the colors in the water!

The pond was pretty quiet, with most of the ducks resting in the sun beside the pond, the cormorant on it's regular perch, and a few geese.  I had the walking path mostly to myself too.

I made a run out to Costco to pick up another Christmas gift for Eli, and found a couple more for him and my son.  I've been updating my list and I'm more than way through the purchases.  The goal is to have everything bought and paid for well in advance of Christmas. It shouldn't be a problem at this rate.  

I didn't get a lot of crocheting this week, but will get back to it this weekend as the live sports will be aired.  I didn't mind the delay; I am thankful that the leagues are showing support to the BLM cause.  This is not solely an issue for the USA, as people of color including our indigenous people face discrimination and racial profiling here in Canada too.  Our world is changing and the pandemic has certainly brought to light the darkness that lurks in our world.  

In any event, I'm working on finishing the last of the baby blankets.  They will need to be washed and blocked, and then I'll get started on another Christmas gift, this one for my niece. It's called a poncho dress, and is made with a heavier weight yarn.  I've purchased a variegated blue yarn, similar to this pattern. 

It's been an up and down sort of week, certainly mostly down at the beginning but trending upward since then.  Fingers crossed that trend continues!  On that note, I'm off to watch hockey and crochet.

Take care everyone and stay well!

Sunday 23 August 2020

Happy Birthday Dad

Today would have been Dad's 110th birthday.  He always said he wanted to live to 120 but that wasn't to be. The photo was taken on his 97th birthday, surrounded by friends he was a little embarrassed to be the center of attention but I know he enjoyed himself. 

His 98th birthday was much quieter, with my cousins Marie and Morley there to celebrate the day.  My brother, niece, nephew, and I had visited the week prior.  It was less than 4 weeks later when he passed away.

Sometime around the year 2000, Dad wrote out his family history for the McCord history book.  I thought I would share a bit of that with you today. I've made a few edits but this is much as my Dad had written:

My parents were married Mar 1, 1899 and lived in Quebec until 1904, when a large number of people were moving west, and they decided to move too. 

They settled on a farm at Mortlach, Saskatchewan, farming there until 1911, when they decided to move further south to were McCord is now. I was only a baby, but was told that they moved on a rock wagon, covered with a canvas.  It was about one hundred miles, so must have taken 4 or 5 days.

Dad acquired three quarters of land (480 acres).  They settled on the east quarter and built a house where we lived until 1914.  A new house was built on higher land about 1/2 mile of the other one.  A barn, 60 feet square was also built.

Dad bought a small ranch about 1917, 24 miles south east of our farm.  We had about 100 head of cattle at that time so needed more pasture for the summer. We really enjoyed the ranch with its hills and trees, riding horses and herding cattle. 

Dad died in the spring of 1925 just after his 54th birthday.  Mother was on a visit to Ontario and Quebec to see her parents and other relatives at the time, so it was quite a shock to her.  I was fourteen years old then, so finished Grade 8 in school, and then stayed home to help farm.

We sold the ranch in 1929, the year the drought started.  The next two years were worse still and we had nothing to harvest in 1931. I can still remember the dust storms that lasted sometimes for three days.  It would calm down at night, and start again in the morning.The dust came in through the windows and doors, and settled on everything.

When you got up in the morning, you could see the spot on the pillow where your head had been.  The table was set with plates upside down, until you were ready to eat.

In 1931, my sister Rita's husband Tom, my brother Wilf, and several other men, drove north to Nipawin.  Except for Tom, the others filed homesteads north east of the town of White Fox.  We left McCord on August 23, 1931, my 21st birthday. The government of Saskatchewan allotted each family two rail box-cars, one for livestock, one for machinery and furniture. We had to bring feed for the horses and cattle, as it took two days to make the trip. Four of us road with the freight train to feed and water the livestock.  

When we arrived in Nipawin the next evening, our families were there to meet us and had found places to live. Two families including ours lived in a two bedroom house for the winter. (That house still stood until sometime in the 1990's when it burned - it was small!) We built a house in Nipawin, and we (Wilf, Bob, and I) found work anywhere we could, hauling wood, working at sawmills, etc.

Wilf and I rented three quarters of land in 1935 and he farmed with me until he joined the army.  Both Wilf and Bob served, until 1945 when they ended up in a hospital in Regina together. Bob had contracted tuberculosis and Wilf had been struck by one of their own trucks, suffering a broken leg and collar bone. (Letters between the two brothers caught up to them in the hospital, neither knowing the other was there). Wilf farmed with me for a couple of years, before moving to B.C. Bob purchased a quarter of land and we farmed together until he retired.

My sister Mae, and Mother lived together in a house on land I rented, until Mother's death in 1968.  

I married Betty in November, 1954 and raised our four children on a quarter section of land that I had purchased. (Although he doesn't mention it, Dad farmed the three quarters for 49 years. He and mom were kept busy with farming, gardening, and running us to our various activities. Dad coached hockey in the winter, and Mom spent time as a cook at the camp we attended in the summer.  They both curled in the winter too, and Dad even made the ice at the local rink for several years.) Betty and I moved off the farm, into Nipawin in 1990.  I started doing volunteer work, and am still able to curl in the winter with the seniors.

Dad had a brain bleed in December, 2003 and just two weeks later Mom passed away due to cancer.  Dad had his first stroke in January, 2004 but was able to stay in their home with the assistance of home care until August of 2006.  He had a bad fall, injuring his arm, with a resulting infection that caused his mental abilities to be impaired.  As result he was moved to a nursing home in another town, but within a few weeks he was transferred back to Nipawin, where he spent the rest of his life.  After the infection had cleared, he was angry with me but we all felt, had he stayed at home, the next fall might have been deadly.  Just six months after his move to the home, he did fall, and was in a wheelchair permanently.

He did eventually come to enjoy his time in the home, greeting his guests and the staff with a big grin.  My brothers R, M, and I were able to be with him on the day before he passed.  R and I stayed the night, and Dad passed away quietly just before dawn. I had been sleeping in a chair beside his bed and something woke me.  I like to think it was Dad's spirit letting me know he was ready to go.  I had reached out, placing my hand on his chest, and felt those last few heart beats.  

Dad was my hero, my champion, and a steadfast supporter.  He was a simple man, who cared deeply for his family and friends, never needing or wanting much, and always content whatever life's circumstances.  And what a life he lived!

Saturday 22 August 2020

Heating up

Come the middle of January, when our temperatures will surely be frigid, someone remind me of this week. We had heat wave warnings for most of the week; it was uncomfortable to be outdoors for very long, and even the nights didn't cool off that much.  Daytime high temperatures ranged from 30-37C  (86-99F).  Normally we don't have a lot of humidity but this weeks it's been quite high, especially early in the morning. Since my tolerance is -25C to 25C (-13F to 77F) so this has been a bit much for me.  

I did get out for a walk early on Tuesday morning.  I was away from the house for about an hour, and in that time the temperature increased by 5 degrees.  Yikes! It was going to be a scorcher and even the geese were sticking to the shade.

A bit of a rant here, I took care to walk around the birds to let them have their space.  Even when I stopped to take a photo, they stayed put.  The next walker wasn't as kind; she clapped her way through them so they all got up and moved out of her way.  I don't understand the need to frighten the birds.  Oh well, to each their own.

There was only one of the cormorants present.  I watched for a little while, it kept flapping its wings and holding its wings in this position.  Trying to catch a breeze to cool off, perhaps?

There isn't a whole lot of water left in the creek, but there were a few ducks feeding that day.

Usually I'm happy with the natural life I find on my walk, but not so much with this one.  Grasshoppers are not a fave of mine, they damage crops and are just plain icky when they jump at me.  

That afternoon I had another visitor in my yard.  I initially thought it was a foam toy, and pushed it with my foot, it moved and I jumped!

Here's looking at you...

I tried a Google search, and couldn't figure out what it was.  So I posted the photos on FB and my cousin's daughter immediately responded.  It is a sphinx moth caterpillar.  I wouldn't touch it; when my son arrived home, I asked him to pick it up and move it to a nearby plant where it may finish off its life cycle.  It's a pretty interesting looking caterpillar, don't you think? (Still creepy crawly though).

Best of all I had a little visitor on Wednesday.  D and Eli arrived shortly before 8 a.m. They left early because she did not want to drive in the heat of the day.  We took him to the park around 9, and after 20 minutes he was ready to return to G'ma's house.  
Where did Eli go?                                                          Why there he is!!!

We had a busy day indoors and although Eli was yawning, the little guy was still awake when they left for the airport at 10 p.m. D texted when they returned home and said they had a good drive, with very little traffic at that time of night.  J is here until the 25th, so I'll have another visit next week.  I am so grateful they live close to me, and are part of my bubble.  I know that several of my readers aren't able to have this contact with their adult children and grandchildren, and I can only imagine how difficult it would be. 

We had a brief break from the weather overnight Thursday into Friday, and even a little rain. After a few household chores, I had thought I might go for a walk, but the lazies overtook any good intentions and I spent my time watching television and reading blogs, and playing on my computer.  By the time noon came around the temperature was reaching 27C (81F) and I decided I'd stay put.  It only got more heated from there.  I spent the afternoon crocheting and watching old CFL games...even one that Saskatchewan lost. :(  In the evening, there was more hockey.

Saturday morning, I knew I needed to get up and move.  After a short conversation with D, I finished up my coffee and headed out the door.  I walked down to the pond, and then circled around the condo units to walk over to Walmart to pick up a few items. It was actually a longer walk than I normally take, but not nearly as picturesque once I was out of sight of the pond.
The pelicans and the cormorants were in their regular spot.

When I arrived home, I put away the few groceries, and went out to water the containers.  The lawn needed mowing and when I finished that task (less than 10 minutes) I sat out and read while I watered the lawn, and then the front flower bed.  By 10:30 I was back in the house as the temperature was rapidly climbing. At noon we've reached 31C (88F) with at least another few degrees to go.  You all know I'll spend the rest of the day indoors!

On that note, I'll sign off for the week.  Take care everyone and stay well!

Saturday 15 August 2020

A walk a day - not quite

 It's Thursday, near mid-day as I start this post and I'm thinking where the heck did this week go?  My son C is off on vacation and I sort of took one too - as much as one can when retired.  Not a lot of housework was completed, just a little cooking, a bit of yard work, and a whole lot of relaxing was in the cards.

I did drive out to the farm last Sunday to check on the house and the cats, as my brother and his family were off on a canoe trip in Northern Saskatchewan.  He shared some photos with me and I've included a couple here.  

They have been taking canoe trips in this part of our province since the early 90's and with the kids for nearly 20 of those years. For perspective, K will turn 20 this year. Since the kids are older, they now travel with two canoes, R and their daughter L in one, and P and their K in the other.  The dog goes with P usually - and I won't tell you that she, K and Cola ended up tipping the canoe.  Just off shore thankfully, nothing was lost.  But I didn't tell you that, did I?
Here's R enjoying a tea by the fire early one evening.  He said the weather wasn't the best, very windy with gusts up to 70 kph (45 mph) through most of the trip.  The weather improved on their last day.  No matter, with fishing for their dinner, family cribbage games, and a bit of exploring on the lakes they had a wonderful time.

The cats, Callie and Celfie were happy to see me, especially when I opened a can of cat food.  Neither are particularly cuddly cats, so after watching them play for a bit, I cleaned the cat litter and took my leave.

We had two beautiful weather days on Monday and Tuesday.  I walked both days, a rarity for me, and as usual the path I walked had interesting things to see.  The creek is pretty much dry and the ducks have moved on, but the pond still has lots of water and lots of birds.  Oh, I read a realtor's ad the other day for a condo unit looking out of the pond....he/she referred to it as a lake, and the creek as a river.  Ha! 

As you can see we had no wind that day, the pond was still.  I like the reflections of the buildings in the water.  The tree to the left is beginning to change color, the leaves are mottled green and rust.  It hardly seems that long ago the leaves were beginning to fill in.
I had stopped to get a photo of the cormorants, the first time I've seen four of them sitting on or near the post, when I heard loud honking overhead.  The geese were coming in for a landing! They're certainly noisy birds and I laughed as they skidded to a stop on the water.  
The wild thistles are finished blooming and the seed heads are simply enormous.  I'm not a fan of thistle in my yard, but they're sure pretty out by the pond.

Wednesday was a cool day, with intermittent rain and thunderstorms.  No walk for me, I didn't want to get caught out while the lightning was possible.                                 I watched a lot of hockey this week and that means a lot of time for crocheting or knitting.  I finished the scarf I'd started at D's last week and since I had enough yarn left, I started a matching one for Eli.  His is not as wide, so the pattern won't be the same, but D was tickled when I suggested it.  I also got some work done on her afghan and should complete it before the week ends.      
That works, since I need to start on the third of the baby blankets for the triplets.  B made an announcement on FB live Thursday, after they got the information at the latest ultrasound.  Two girls, one boy - D has decided the green will be for the boy, yellow for one of the girls, so the third will be pink.  Oh, and  I just happened to pick up a couple more skeins this week for a yet to be decided project.  No wonder my stash never seems to get any lower. I just can't resist when I find yarn on sale and Walmart is clearing out much of their product.

I went to Costco on Tuesday (yes, I know I said I wasn't going back).  It wasn't as crazy as my last visit, and almost all the customers and all of the staff were wearing PPE.  Still no sanitized carts, but I had my wipes with me.  I was there to find masks for Eli, but they were out.  I did pick up more Christmas gifts, a cargo carrier for D's trunk and some "underwears" for Eli.  After a quick stop at Walmart, I headed home to the computer to look for disposable masks.  Most school boards are making it mandatory for children in grades 4-12, and optional for the younger ones.  I have made one mask for Eli, and D has ordered a few more cloth ones, but I thought some disposables would come in handy.  Now we just have to convince him to wear them.  

Speaking of Covid-19 we've had a surge in cases here in Regina.  A local business was found to have eleven cases and I suspect the more recent ones were identified through contact tracing of these individuals. We had the distinction of the highest number of active cases in the province for a couple of days, before being surpassed by the southwest where the Hutterite colonies have been hard hit. 

There have been announcements of several businesses in the city where people may have been exposed. Thankfully, none of the businesses identified were ones I've been shopping at lately!  Many of the stores, including Walmart, are now making masks mandatory. I suspect it may bring out some of the angry people who feel their right to be stupid to go mask-less is being infringed upon.  What they don't seem to understand is wearing a mask protects other....not wearing one is simply selfish. Unless there is a medical reason why one cannot wear a mask, we need to take care of one another.  Okay, rant over.

At 40 active cases locally (as of Friday) it isn't a terribly high number but when one thinks of the potential number of contacts those individuals may have had with others, my level of concern increases.  I think we're good for groceries so I probably won't leave the house again until next week.  

Friday morning, I woke up feeling exhausted, with a distinct sense of having experienced a nightmare but I could not recall what it was.  Imagine my surprise when I checked my Fitbit to discover I had over 100 steps, and even more surprised to see it had registered 11 active minutes.  Curious I went to my app and discovered that for a period of nearly 25 minutes my heart rate was elevated into, what Fitbit describes as, the fat burning and cardio ranges. That must have been some dream - I'm glad I can't remember it!

I didn't walk in the morning as the clouds were threatening rain.  At one point, I asked my Google mini if there was rain in the forecast, she said no and as I turned around the rain started falling.  Not infallible is the forecast!  I did go for a brief walk in the evening over to the pond.  It was quiet, a few ducks settling down for the evening in the grass, a cormorant sharing the space with two pelicans, and a third pelican feeding where the water circulates into the pond.  It was lovely evening, with a temperature around 22C (72F).

Today the weather is similar, cloudy skies with a threat of rain, but again none in the forecast.  I expect it will clear off later.  I'm going out shortly to water the containers (that will make it rain), and mow the lawn.  It will be an easy day with more hockey, more crocheting, and I have chicken marinating in the fridge for dinner.  

I saw this poster on another blog and borrowed it to share.  It pretty much sums up my feelings about 2020!
Take care everyone and stay well.

P.S. Cheapchick, if you are reading this, you've been on a mind several times this week, especially when I've been walking.  I hope you've been able to spend some time near the ocean and are doing well.

Saturday 8 August 2020

Motoring along

Though it was unplanned, I got an invite from my brother last Saturday to visit the farm (and the she-shed). It is about a 30 minute drive from my home in the city, the day was perfect, mid-20's C with a few clouds in the sky.

We relaxed on the veranda with a cold drink, visiting with my niece L for about an hour. P arrived from a grocery run to the nearby town, and brought snacks out to us.  When we'd caught up on the latest news, it was time to walk out to see the transformation.  You've all seen photos so I didn't take more than couple.  It is in a lovely spot with young trees growing around it.  Someday I expect they'll provide some much needed shade.

I was most impressed with the height of the interior. My niece is almost 6 feet tall; the roof at the back (the lowest point) is about 7.5 feet and the front closer to 9 feet.  It's bright and the fixtures and finishing make it a great spot to hang out.  She's been doing some creative work out there but has been bringing back to the house.  It is in the bush, and there is definitely mice potential so I understand why she wouldn't want to leave anything out there. 

On the way home, I stopped on a grid road to take a photo of a canola field. It's represents so much of Saskatchewan. When I was a child, canola was referred as rapeseed or simply rape.  There was a town near my hometown that had a sign that read, Tisdale; the land of rape and honey.  Some really bad connotations there...thankfully the name of the crop and the sign have been changed!

Sunday afternoon I drove out to visit D and Eli for a couple of days.  Again, the day was perfect for driving and I missed the holiday crowd heading out to the lake.  There were a number of vehicles on their way back towards the city, and I have to think there was a vintage car show (or at least parade) as I met a number of older vehicles on my drive.  Don't ask me what they were, I was never a car aficionado, but I believe many were from the 60's or 70's and some even older.

Our visit went very well.  D, Eli and I went walking twice a day.  The walks are shorter than the ones I would do on my own, but there is a three year old to consider.  So, of course, every walk ended at the "pawk".  He has begun to identify the parks by the equipment and his favorite, the closest to their home, is the green park.  I have to think it is because of the color of the big slide!
Say "cheese"!
Ready, steady, go!

D had asked me to bring some boxes with me, as she is tackling the clutter in her home.  While I was there she took out 5 large bags of garbage, two plastic bins of items for a garage sale, several boxes of items to donate, and multiple bags of books to be sold, donated or recycled.  We pulled all the furniture away from the walls, swept, vacuumed, and dusted the entire main floor. She sorted Eli's toys, with many ending up in the donate/sell bins.  Some, like those darn things McDonald's gives out with children's meals ended up in the garbage.  

We tackled her bedroom where she sorted books and clothing.  Some furniture was moved around and the old crib taken down and stored in the garage (she'll give it to a friend once they make arrangements to pick it up).  With it removed, and the movement of furniture she was provided a spot to sit and read.  

By the time we finished, most of the house had been gone over and much of the clutter removed.  I'm proud of my girl, this wasn't an easy process for her, as she likes to collect stuff and letting go can be hard. But she was definitely happy with the results, mentioning how much more open and clean the house felt. I did mention to her that less stuff makes it easier to keep it clean and tidy, and find things when you want them too.  

I drove back into the city Wednesday morning, after our walk and visit to the green park.  The temperature was forecast to reach near 30C (86F) so I wanted to get home before lunch.  On the way, I stopped to get some photos of an old house off the highway. 
I'm having issues with my zoom lens, as the zoom focus feature seems to wearing out, so I argue with it as I try to get it to focus where I want it to.  Most of the photos didn't work out but standing on the side of the highway looking at the small screen I thought they were okay.  
It's clear that no one has lived in the house for many years and it is beginning to fall apart.  I'm always sad when I see this, I'd like to think that at least part of it could be salvaged and used elsewhere. 

When I arrived home, I immediately went searching for another zoom lens.  I checked locally and on Amazon, and guess what, Amazon won again on price and availability.  I had a $50 gift card from another survey site so it was a no brainer.  I ordered it Wednesday and it shipped Thursday!

On Thursday morning, I went out for my solitary walk.  I didn't take the camera this time, so you'll have to take my word for it when I tell I saw, one pelican and three cormorants on the Riverbend pond, along with multiple ducks and later in the walk along the creek I found the pair of marbled Godwits, more ducks, and even spotted a gopher.  The latter have been heard but not seen on previous walks.  Later, at home I spotted the bunny on the road out in front of my house.  I suggested it should get off the eventually did. I've tried to insert a video of a pair of young ducks having a disagreement.  If it isn't accessible, I'll remove it as I couldn't check it in the preview.

I woke on Friday to the distant sound of thunder.  There was a bit of rain, but not enough to satisfy my containers.  It stayed cloudy for most of the morning so I got a bit of housework out of the way. I ought to have gone out and done some weeding before the heat of the day but I just wasn't in the mood.  Instead laundry was taken care of, I made a potato salad for this weekend, and the kitchen and living room floors were swept.  I have to say, after being away for three days, my son does not make much of a mess.  I'm the one who seems to drop or spill things on the floor.

It was a pretty chill day, I watched a lot of hockey and did some knitting on a scarf for my daughter.  While I was visiting I'd crocheted up a water bottle carrier for her, but hadn't taken anything else to work on.  Luckily she had some yarn and a set of needles so I started the project while we watched television in the evening and brought it home to finish.  D has been working on a knitted dishcloth for several months now so chances are she wouldn't get to this yarn for a long time.  I'm not making fun, she has a hard time focusing on anything for very long.

Overnight the temperature dropped to a cool 11C (52F); I'd left the sun room open overnight with the window open to let the breeze into the house.  It felt lovely to get up to!  I puttered around a bit, had my morning coffee and call with D, before heading outdoors just after 9 a.m.  The lawn was mowed before I headed off for a walk.  What a perfect day!  Lots of sunshine, a few clouds, and a breeze to keep the bugs off. I walked my usual loop (without my camera), and it appears the ducks are starting to gather perhaps to start their trek southward.  Riverbend was swarming with ducks and several geese.  The biggest surprise was seeing five cormorants on the pond.  Some looked to be a bit smaller than another so perhaps they were this year's brood.  The sole pelican was there as well. 

Back at home, I've done some prep cooking for the week ahead, and now I've settled in to watch some more hockey, and do a bit of knitting.  If someone had told me a year ago that I'd be watching the NHL and knitting a scarf in August of this year, I'd have said they were nuts.  But here we are and I am. 

On that note, I'll sign off for the week.  Take care everyone and stay well!

Saturday 1 August 2020

Welcome August

July in Saskatchewan often means a week or two of heat.  And by heat, I mean temperatures near or in the 90's.  I don't know how folks manage with the heat when it gets beyond that and for extended periods of time. The few days we have high temps (for us), I'm pretty much useless by noon.  

I do have air conditioning in my home but I try not to use it until I must.  I keep the thermostat at 76F (24C) so it doesn't generally start blowing cold air until mid to late afternoon.  That means that from noon until 3 or 3:30 I'm pretty much a lump.  Here's what I've been working on when I'm just sitting.

It took me several days to put this puzzle together.  The color changes were frequent, and it wasn't easy to identify where a piece might fit.  Eventually I got to the point where I selected a piece to try based on its shape.  But I had fun none-the-less.  

Remember the yarn I purchased on sale a couple of weeks ago?  Just over one ball of yarn was used to create this little dress.  Sometimes I just make things because I think they're beautiful and this is one. I need to pick up some ribbon (which will be threaded at the waistband).  I'll try to sell it on the local buy and sell website as I don't have a little girl in my life to give it to, and if I did I could always make another since I have almost two full balls left.  The site that I used for the pattern has numerous other little dress patterns so there are options.
More yarn purchased in the last few weeks - this will be a gift for my daughter for Christmas. I can get away with posting since she doesn't read my blog.  Each row represents almost all of a ball of yarn and I sort of planned it that way and I got lucky with my calculations.  I also turned the afghan sideways, the stripes will be vertical rather than horizontal - again this is partially intentional and partially a fortunate happenstance.  I anticipate I'll have some yarn left over and I'll use it up on the edging or I'll purchase one more ball to finish it off.  It is bulky yarn so is working up fast.
On my walk last week I was wishing I had brought water along with me.  I always carry my camera bag and can fit in a small water bottle (or used pop bottle) but I didn't think to do so.  When I got home I decided I'd make a carrier for my metal drink bottle and used some old yarn.  It took just over an hour, with a few interruptions, to make it up.  I haven't used it yet, because it's been so warm in the morning this week that I haven't gone walking. 

When I crochet I prefer to watch television so I have some noise in the background.  This week I watched the six part series of "The Book of Negroes".  I'd read the book, written by Lawrence Hill, several years ago and really enjoyed it.  The movie was very good too, though I suspect they left out some of the more violent parts for prime-time viewing.  Still, it was worth the time to watch.

I've also enjoyed some video calls with Eli.  He is so adept at using the I-pad or his mother's cellphone to call me.  She merely needs to set one of these down and turn away and he snatches it up to make a call.  (I'm not the only one he calls, his daddy, his other grandma, and his own mother get regular calls).  Once we're chatting, he likes to play with the special effects. I'm learning to use these too, I can't let a three year be that far ahead of me!  One thing he does, that I don't know how to do, is take photos while we're chatting, and then send them to me.  Here we are going skydiving! (My mouth is open because when I do that, I spiral out of the's fun to watch when it isn't real!)

Thankfully the high temperatures have eased off as we reached the weekend (and August).  Friday we reached a high of 25C (77F) and today will be about the same.  Friday I spent the morning outside, mowing the lawn, pulling some weeds (they pop up behind me as I move along), picked up pine cones, swept up the crap from the elm trees, and watered the containers.  It was good to be outdoors and not feel like I was just out of the shower.  

Today I headed out for a walk and in the hour that I was out, it warmed up from 18C (65F) to 23C (73F).  I was glad to have my water bottle with me.  I had my camera with me, of course, here's a few favorites from today's outing.

The weeds are beginning to turn color.  It is August, the time when our days are warm days and our nights are cool.  As proof, I woke to 11C (52F) this morning.  It felt good!
I was excited to find the marbled Godwit again.  It was over on the other side of the creek by a retirement community, an area I usually don't walk.  I spotted it out of the corner of my eye, that head bob clued me in, so I went down the embankment a wee bit to get a close up.
The mama ducks are still taking care of their babies, some smaller than others.  But more and more I'm seeing the young ones nearly grown.
This group of wigeons are still smaller than the adults but oh so close.  In a few weeks I expect they'll be starting their migration south.
Not the pretties background, but the pelican wouldn't stay still!  It was getting something to eat out of the pond, but I'm doubtful it was fish.
The focus is a bit off on this photo - my camera and I often don't see the same thing - but I was wanting the reflection more than anything.  This end of the pond was empty of birds.

I'm off to visit D and Eli sometime tomorrow and won't return until mid-week.  C will take care of the cats and will even water the containers if I remind him by text.  It's a holiday weekend, so I decided to wait a day to leave as the highways will be busy.  We've got plans to do some clearing out of her house, and I'll send her off for a few hours to spend some time on her own while I deal with Eli.  She needs a break!

Take care everyone and stay well!