Tuesday 27 April 2021

I can see clearly now

 Monday was a day - by 6:30 p.m. I could have gone to bed and slept until morning I'm sure. I managed to prop my eyelids open until 9, and slept through until 5 a.m.  Yes, I was tired. 

I started the morning off by clearing out the rest of the bedroom in preparation for the window replacement crew.  The contractor said I didn't need to strip the bed, just cover it in plastic but I figured it was a good day to wash all the bedding.  I did cover the mattress and it's pad with plastic while the rest went into the washer.  

I took the stool Sasha uses to climb onto the bed along with the pillows into the spare room where the cats would spend the day.  It's currently used for some storage and Eli's toys, and with only one chair in there I figured Sasha and Saku would want more options for sleeping.  A cat litter box, kibble and their water fountain was moved in there as well.  They had everything they needed for the day.  I thought Saku would be a pest, trying to get out the door but he didn't, it was Sasha who hollered every so often.

Before the crew arrived I got the kitchen floor washed but decided to leave the front hall until after they'd left as I figured they would be in and out....they were.  I even had all the laundry washed, dried, folded and put away before they got here.  They arrived just after 9:30 a.m. and were gone shortly after 3 p.m.

Here's a few photos from the main event - the replacement of the bay window in the living room.

One of the crew worked inside removing the moldings around the window and inner sections of the frames.  The other two were outside doing what they were doing.  I have brick on the exterior and I know at one point, one of them mentioned removing parging.

The center window is gone!  They took it out in three pieces - one of the crew said it was easier when taking them out.  They were careful and no windows were broken.

I was pleased to find out there was no sign of water damage or mold in the old window frame.  We'd had an ice dam a few years ago, but apparently my son had gotten to it quickly enough (I was away on a cruise).

And here's the new one as they started installing it.  It looks like it was cold out there, but it really wasn't that bad. It nearly 8C (46F) when they arrived and by noon they were working without their heavier jackets.  I had the heat turned down a bit because there was no point in heating the outside but I only heard the furnace cut in once during the process.

Once it was mostly in place, I had to laugh because this fellow was gently kicking it in.  That's some precise tool. :)  After that, there was a whole lot of measuring and leveling that went on before they were satisfied.  They used spray foam insulation to close in all the gaps - I shouldn't have to worry about air leaks. 

Here's the new window after installation. The only issue they had was the old moldings were too narrow. While two of the crew sat and ate their lunch on the patio, the third ran to the store for wider moldings. I'll have to stain these at some point.  The fellow did offer to have me stain them first before he put them up, but I wanted it done.  

Here's an exterior shot.  I wish I'd taken a before photo but this one from 2013 will have to do. It was taken shortly before the the front patio was put in.  And obviously before I had put in many of the perennials in the front flower bed.  Wow, it looks barren!

I didn't take any photos of the bedroom windows replacement as I would have been in their way.  Suffice to say they look good.  I was very pleased with the work that was done.  The only thing they didn't do particularly well was clean up after themselves. In their defense I did tell them I would be cleaning the where they had been working after they left.  One of the crew did sweep part of the living room floor but they left sawdust and some pieces of plastic and wood chips on the driveway and patio.  When they were gone, I pulled out the vacuum and cleaned up both the living room and bedroom, wiped down the television stand and end tables, washed the front hallway floor, and then went out and swept up the driveway and patio.  

Question for you, I think I'll paint the framing around the screen door - any suggestions as to what color I should consider?  I want to stay away from the dark brown it is now but I don't think I want to go with white.  The siding is a pale yellow or cream, which might work or maybe I'll go bold and go with one of the colors in the brick.  I'd love to paint the screen door as well but the thought of removing it and rehanging it sounds like a lot of work. Hmmm....maybe I can convince my little brother to lend me a hand.

Isn't that the way when something new is brought into the mix?  Everything else starts looking shabby and needing a refresh.  Well, at least for now the windows are clean and shiny!

Saturday 24 April 2021

Catching up and lazing about

Speaking of curling, the one event ended on Monday and the second started on Tuesday. But the channels that carry the curling didn't actually start airing it until Wednesday.  I'd like to say that I got a whole lot of housework done as a result...but that would be a lie.  

On Tuesday morning, I happened to look out the front door while I was walking in the house and spotted this robin in the remnants of the snow fall from last week.  It's not a great shot - I was shooting through the window of the door and the screen door.  

Instead of housework I caught up on the television that I'd PVR'ed last week and did more research on Ancestry.  I've been working on more current members of the family, mostly cousins of my grandparents and great-grandparents.  It was a pretty lazy day around here.  

On Wednesday morning before the curling was televised, I headed out for a walk.  It was just above freezing but the wind was quite cool so I did my 30 minutes and came home.  Here are few photos from that walk.
I might be wrong, but it appears the geese are starting to nest. 

As I was focusing in on the goose, I could hear the song of the red winged blackbird.  I headed across the street and followed the music.

I thought the cattails made a pretty picture.

At the pond there were a pair of geese grooming themselves along the path.  This one is quite the contortionist.  I almost wish I were that flexible.

Back in the park on the way home I spotted five rabbits. There was a couple with a dog coming towards me, and they startled all but one. It's still not quite brown yet, but it's getting there.

Thursday morning, I went to the tire shop to have my winter tires switched out for summer, only to learn that I'd made the appointment (on-line) with another location, same company but this location didn't have openings for the morning.  So I cancelled that appointment and re-booked for next week.  Reminder to self pay attention to the confirmation e-mails.

I did my grocery shopping for the week and picked up dry cat food at PetSmart.  When I got the counter, I asked about the particular variety I buy because I hadn't been able to find it.  The clerk was great and checked for me and I learned that they've changed the packaging - I just didn't read the fine print.  My next stop was Pet Valu for a replacement pump and filter for my cats' water fountain.  They had none in store, so when I got home I ordered the pieces on-line along with a large bag of cat litter.  The total of the purchases gave me free delivery to my home.  And yes, I checked the confirmation e-mail carefully. :) It all arrived on Saturday morning along with a package of dog wipes.  Nice to get a freebie but you would think it would been cat related.

Friday was a cool morning; I awoke to my cat alarm at 5:30 and the temperature was a mere -10C (14F). In the middle of January I would welcome such a temp but not in late April.  My Bergenia was just starting to show some signs of life but after this hard frost all the leaves were crumpled and lifeless. (Later in the day they were back to looking healthy and perked right up.) I did get out and feed the birds, and the squirrel - who I've named Hoover for its ability to clean up the bird seed.

Today, I've been catching up on a bit of housework this morning and getting the bedroom ready for Monday.  I got a call from the contractor and the windows in the living room and bedroom will be replaced that day, barring any rain or that s word....the weather forecast is for neither.  He asked me to ensure the curtains were removed which I'll do that morning.  I did need to clear the night side table and remove a couple of other items to give them more room to work.  He told me to simply cover the bed with plastic - I have a roll from when the kitchen was redone so I've pulled that out of the garage. 

I'm off to watch the tie-breaker before I tackle more housework.  Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday 21 April 2021

For the love of the game

When I was a kid I used to say I was born in a curling rink.  Not quite true, and although my birth story is quite unusual I won't share it with you...at least not now.

I was less than a year old when my parents moved from a small town to the farm where I grew up. I'm not sure when they started curling but it wasn't long afterward.  In the farming community there was a single curling sheet rink and every Tuesday and Thursday from after Christmas until the end of March, the bus would drop us off as our parents were either curling or playing rummy and chatting with friends waiting for their turn. We kids would skate on an outdoor rink, buy treats at the concession (25 cents for sandwiches or a piece of cake or a cookie), or just get into mischief.  The women of the district took turns making the items for sale and club used the proceeds to buy supplies.

When my Dad turned 60, he took over the ice making from Walter who was well into his 80's by then.  The curling rink (and Dad) were even part of an episode of a CBC television program, the name of which I can't recall.  One of my daughter's earliest memories is going to the rink with Grandpa, watching him light the stove to warm up the seating area and playing with a few toys while he flooded the ice.

My parents didn't only curl at this venue, but also curled in various bonspiels over the winter in the nearby towns and villages.  Between the curling and hockey (my brother participated), I don't think I'll ever get the smell of rink burgers and fried onions out of my system.

You would think that with all the time spent in the rink, I would taken up the game but that never happened.  In fact, I was quite bitter as a teenager about all the curling.  My mother was quite a competitive curler; she and her team even made it to the Northern Provincial event a couple of times in a bid to reach the provincial tournament.  But what irked me most was that the town's women's bonspiel ran every year during the week my birthday fell. As a result I never had a birthday party or even a cake, until one of the neighbour's brought one to the small curling rink when I was about thirteen.  If you've followed me for very long, you may know that I don't celebrate birthdays, I have a "me day" instead. Call it residual angst from my childhood.

So how on earth did I fall in love with the game?  Well, in 1989, I was working for a bank here in the city.  Our managers bought a number of tickets and offered them to employees to attend the Brier in Saskatoon (about 2 1/2 hours drive from here) on a lottery basis.  I won two tickets for a full day's draw and called my mom to ask if she wanted to attend...of course she did!  We met at my sister's in Saskatoon the night before, and Mom and I spent the day at the rink together.  In that one day, Mom shared so much of her curling knowledge and didn't mind when I asked what were likely very foolish questions.  That was the beginning of my love for the game.

In 1998, I invited my parents to Regina to attend the Scotties Tournament of Hearts final.  The arena had added extra seating - we were sitting in what must have been the most uncomfortable seats in the venue but I still have wonderful memories of that day too. Watching the teams dance to the music during the television time-outs was just one of them.

A few years later, the Roar of the Rings were being held in Regina.  This is the event that decides the Canadian men's and women's teams to participate in the Olympics. I purchased the tickets for the full event, knowing there would be some incredible curling. I wrote my final exam for my professional accounting designation the morning of the first draw; these tickets were meant to be a gift to myself for making it through the program.  I took the week off work too.  

When I reached my seat for the week for the second draw of the day, I found two couples seated next to me.  The two wives didn't attend every game but no matter who was there, someone was always willing to answer my questions.  One of the women had actually participated in the Dominion women's curling (the precursor to today's Scotties), and the man in the other couple had participated in the men's event several times as the representative from the Northwest Territories. 

They were all so knowledgeable and I learned so much that week, especially about the strategy of the game.  It intrigued me then and that interest has stayed with me ever since. When people refer to curling as chess on ice, there truly is an element of truth to it. The really good curlers are always thinking two or three shots ahead. 

As I noted in my last post there have been many changes over the years. Some of these were to make the games more entertaining, and others to correct some issues that arose due to improvements in the equipment.  Think of it as a golf game - I'm sure at some point the length of holes had to be increased because the technology of the clubs allowed for golfers to hit farther.  Curling has put away the old straw brooms in favor of brooms covered in synthetic fabric.  Curlers no longer have to deal with bits of straw on the ice, but rather contend with the new directional brushing that is possible with the newer brooms. (Basically what that means is the stronger sweepers can pretty much sweep the rock to any part of the ice.)

Curling is definitely a world-wide sport.  In many countries such as China, Japan and Russia, the players are selected to participate, and are supported financially as they train. Other countries provide some funding for their elite teams as well - there may only be one or two teams at that level.  In Canada and the U.S. the curling federations support the teams who become the country's representative but most of the funding for the various teams comes from corporate sponsorship.  And those sponsors want people to watch the games - hence the need to change the rules to ensure it is more exciting game otherwise there would only be the diehards like myself willing to watch. 

The next big world curling event will be the Olympics in Bejing in 2022. Curling was part of the first modern Olympics in 1924 but was not included for many years after that.  Our Saskatchewan women's team led by Sandra Schmirler, won their way into the Olympics in 1998 in Nagano, Japan where they won gold.  Sadly, Sandra lost her life to cancer just two years later.  

In 2018 the gold medal team on the men's side was John Schuster from Duluth, Minnesota.  His team is quite colorful and definitely fun to watch and not only for their ability to curl.  The women's side was won by the Swedish team led by Anna Hasselborg. They are still a young team and will be a force to reckon with for many years yet. She's at this week's event with her husband and her nine month old daughter.  

Okay, that was a whole lot of words to tell you how and why I enjoy watching curling so much.  It's been a journey from that one sheet curling rink, to various events across our province, and now in the comfort of my armchair.  Just don't ask me to sit in the hack and throw a rock. :)

Saturday 17 April 2021

What goes up or what comes down

 You'll have seen the photos of the snow we got earlier in the week; today we're forecast for a high of 16C (61F).  Now what season of the eleven is this?  BTW, I can't take credit for the 11 Seasons in Canada - my brother found it and sent it to me.

Looking back over the week, I spent a lot of time on Ancestry tracing family members, catching up on television I missed while watching curling, catching up on housework that didn't get done while I was watching curling, and oh yeah...watching more curling. :) 

The latest event began Thursday morning and runs through to Monday.  It was delayed one day, not only to allow for the changeover of the ice surfaces but to ensure that there were no further concerns with Covid-19.  This is a Grand Slam of Curling event - not associated with Curling Canada.  Many years ago the top teams in Canada boycotted the Curling Canada events and created this separate division. I don't recall the reasons but it had to do with the need for rule changes.  For example, in years past a game could go ten ends (think innings in baseball) with no one scoring until the last end because it was a very defensive game.  The GSoC changed the rules to require first a three, then four, and finally five rock role.  This means that rocks in front of the house (called the free guard zone) cannot be hit by the opposing team until the fifth stone has been thrown.  This usually ensures there are more rocks in play, resulting in a more offensive game, and much more entertaining game for the audience to watch.  It's interesting that many of the rule changes that came about because of the GSoC have been adopted, not only in Canada, but in World curling as well.  

On the Ancestry front, I've mostly been researching more current family members, from about 1850 onward.  They still continue to name their children the same names so things get a bit confusing at times but in most cases there is a second name and the records I'm viewing are much better.  This week I came across a distant cousin who married a scoundrel.  The couple had three children together, but it appears he was already married to another woman at the time, and remarried the same year that his youngest child with the distant cousin was born.  There is also evidence he changed his name and went to live in a religious community when he abandoned the family. It's not clear how many wives he had (potentially six or more) or how many children he fathered.  This all occurred in the early 1900's in Canada and the United States.  She and her children appear to have been separated at as well and she may have lived in a reservation in the U.S. for some time.  Perhaps the children were adopted as I cannot find information beyond the late 1910's.

I have not done anything with my knitting or crocheting this week.  Perhaps today, or not.  I did get some tomatoes and peppers seeds started this week. The little peat pots are sitting in the kitchen window looking out over the sun room.  It's the sunniest space in the house so hopefully I'll see some sprouts in the next week.  If not I'll have to purchase some plants.  I watched a video on FB (where else), of a gardener planting a pot including a red pepper plant as the highlight, with coleus, trailing petunias, coral bells, a grass and one other plant that escapes me all in "hot colors". It was a big pot! But I loved the idea of including the vegetable with the flowers and may try to emulate this, in a smaller version on my back deck - it gets a lot of sun. I know that tomatoes and marigolds are companion plants as well. Hmmm....I'm thinking it will be very colorful back there.  There are garden centers opening up here, but I'll wait because I have no desire to be dragging plants in and out of the garage for the next month.

Speaking of weather, the blowing snow created quite the piece of art, covering over the chair in my wordless Wednesday post.  Here's what it looks like this morning.  The sun hasn't quite got around to the south yet, but I expect this will be gone by late today or early tomorrow. 

I checked the weather forecast and we're doing the yo-yo for the next while, warm weather, then cooler, then warmer.  So it goes.  

It's just about time for the next draw to be televised. So I'll close this off by wishing you all a great week ahead. 


Tuesday 13 April 2021

Third winter?

Woke to about 5 inches of snow this morning on top of the inch we had the night before.  This is what it looks like now after a half hour of shovelling.

I'm pretty sure this our third winter!

Have a great day everyone!

Saturday 10 April 2021

Another week that was

 As I sit down to write this on Friday, I'm looking back and thinking what happened to this week?  I do know it has been a good one.

Before I forget, thank you to all who expressed your concern for D and Eli last week.  I'm happy to report that she's received an e-mail from the insurance company and the settlement is better than she anticipated.  Her car was a 2009 Ford Focus, and the reason for the write-off was the frame was bent in the accident.  It wouldn't be worth it to repair it.  Now she has a 2011 Chevy Cruze. I should note that both of my adult children own vehicles that are newer than mine...I have 2007 Toyota Corolla, and I plan to drive it until I give up driving.  Hope the car agrees with that plan. 

We've had some near summer like temperatures a few days this week and I managed to squeeze in a walk a couple of days in between curling games.  A girl has to have her priorities, right?  I didn't take my camera with me though so no photos to share. The number of geese and ducks are increasing exponentially.  In the backyard the juncos are here too.  I believe they head further north as I don't recall seeing them much in the summer.  

I did get Eli's sweater sewn together, but have yet to finish the button bands. Since I do most of my knitting/crocheting while watching television (curling) and the picking up of stitches takes close attention it will wait until I'm less focused on the television.  So no photo again this week.  I got distracted with some yarn my daughter sent home with me and started a tank top for her.  I'll have to wait until I see her again before I finish it, as I want to be certain of the size. Plus I'm modifying it, as the patterns calls for tie strings and she agreed she'd rather have shoulder straps.  I've just started a third project but will wait until I get into it before I tell you what it is.  

This week, I've also spent a lot of time on Ancestry.  This time not adding people but rather deleting them.  I had been working on tracing my grandfather's first cousins to see if there were any more close connections.  But I made a mistake as there are two individuals named Janet Bell in my tree - and I picked the wrong one, one who is at least two to three generations older than my grandfather.  You would think I would have noticed the age discrepancy but no.  I spent days tracing from this individual and her spouse and ended up adding nearly 5000 people to the tree before it dawned on me I'd made an error.  It took me a day and a half to delete the entire branch!  I've learned to trace backwards first to confirm that I've got the right person before I start another search.   

Did I tell you that I heard from another cousin?  This one from my grandmother's side of the family.  She is starting work on her mother's side and saw that I had her mother in my tree but the information was not correct.  I was working off a Census from 1920 that spelled her name incorrectly.  M was able to correct the spelling and provide additional information that opened up even more hints. I was also able to give her some information along with photos of her great grandparents (my 2X great grandparents) that she hadn't seen previously.  Her mother and my grandmother were first cousins.  

While I was reviewing that information, I noted the name of cemetery in New Westminster, B.C. This piqued my interest because my dad's brother Wilf, lived there in the 60's and 70's and was married to a woman named Ann.  I seem to recall we met her at one point, and I know as a young girl I wrote to Aunt Ann a few times and she was kind enough to write back.  She passed away in the 70's and Uncle Wilf returned to our home town before 1980 after marrying again.  I decided, out of curiousity, to check the cemetery information and searched for Ann and I found her!  The details provided in the Find a grave site noted that she was married to Wilf H. There is something satisfying about being able to give her a proper name, and not just Ann.

I did get outside on Thursday as well, spending about an hour cleaning up pine cones and pine needles around the spruce tree in front.  I managed to gather two small garbage bags of these items in time for the garbage truck weekly pick-up.  Despite the amount of walking I've done, this activity required different muscles, and I figured I'd be feeling it the next day.  But I didn't, at least not much. Hurray for that!

It's now Saturday.  I'm not watching curling this morning because it all came to a screeching halt last night after one of the teams preparing to head home tested positive for Covid-19.  They would have been in the bubble about 3 or 4 days prior to event, and it's been a full week so I have to assume they were exposed just prior to arriving.  All of the teams that are in the playoffs (Canada is not - they lost their qualifying game last night) will be tested today and depending on those results, the games will be rescheduled.  At least I hope they will.  

So rather than sit around the house and mope, I headed out for a walk this morning.  It was just above freezing, but with no wind, overcast but with a promise of warmer temperatures later in the day.  Here are a few photos.

As I started out on my walk, I could hear several ducks calling close by.  Since I'm not that close to the pond, it was a bit unusual.  This female was talking up a storm on the roof of a house about a half block away.

This male mallard was walking on the street just ahead of me.  He wasn't saying much.  

On my way to the creek I spotted a couple of hares closer to a couple of houses.  This one intrigued me -  it almost looks like it has a dark t-shirt and a light pair of pants.

The creek was very quiet, with the water still so low and freezing temperatures overnight, there was a thin sheet of ice still on the water.  Further along I found this solo duck in a wee bit of open water.

I first heard and then saw a red winged blackbird.  I love their song.
The pond was busier, but not nearly as many ducks and geese as I've seen in recent walks.  This one startled me as I didn't notice it right away. 
Speaking of not seeing - I took the photo below as I was walking back through the park and initially hadn't seen the second hare on the left.
Finally, as I walked up the driveway I could hear a robin in the spruce tree.  I turned around and spotted him at the top of the tree.  Another birdsong that I enjoy.

It was a good morning for a walk and probably the last for about a week.  Though we're expecting a high of 17C (63F) this afternoon, there's another storm heading our way that may bring 10-20 cms of snow (4-8 inches) from Sunday through Thursday.  Just when the trees in the back yard are starting to bud out.  Welcome to April in Saskatchewan. 

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

Saturday 3 April 2021

Change of plans

I ought not to suggest that life is quiet around here.  Because when I do, life has a way of turning topsy turvy when I'm feeling too complacent. 

We had an absolutely beautiful day on Sunday.  The sun was shining and the temperature rose to 17C (63F). I had done my morning walk in the house, but couldn't resist the allure of the outdoors.  This time I remembered my camera card so there are photos.

The mallard ducks are back at the creek.  The water level is really low this year.  Hopefully we get some rain in the next few weeks.

Looking back under the bridge, you can see how little water there is. I don't recall it ever being this low.

Despite the low level, it wasn't stopping the ducks and the geese from feeding.

As I walked through the grass from the creek back to the walking path I startled this hare (I still think of it as a rabbit though I know that's the proper name). It didn't go too far as there were lots of people and dogs on the walking path.

Over at the pond the geese were noisy! I'd suggest there were close to a hundred or better on the shore, on the ice and in the water. Many seemed to be napping in the sun but there was lots of chatter and some disagreements too.

This pair were at the far end of the pond where there were fewer geese.  One was grooming while the other kept an eye out. I've never seen a goose dangle a foot like this.  The reflection in the water is pretty interesting too.  

I was so glad I got out for my walk on Sunday because the weather turned downright nasty on Monday.  In the morning, we had blowing snow warnings, though the snow didn't start falling until mid-afternoon. The wind picked up and throughout the evening we had gusts up to 100 kph (62 mph) that kept up through the night. When my son went to work Tuesday morning there was an drift outside the garage about a foot high. For some reason, it always drifts in at the garage while it blows across the driveway.

Tuesday was cool but I got out and did some shoveling and ran a couple of errands for my daughter.  It was really cold Wednesday morning, I awoke to a temperature of -17C (1F)!  Thankfully, it warmed up throughout the day and we topped out at 7C (45F).  That's Saskatchewan weather, if you don't like it, wait 15 minutes.

I was especially grateful for the warm-up as I made a trip to see D and Eli on Thursday.  It wasn't in the plans but became a necessity. On Sunday they were out for a drive, and were involved in a car accident.  Thankfully neither were hurt but the car is a total loss. I was so proud of her, as she dealt with everything, arranging for a tow truck, calling the RCMP, and finding a ride to get back home as they were several miles away.  She was upset, mostly with herself, and not long ago this would have resulted in a melt-down or panic attack. She did call me to ask if I would video chat with Eli as he was still in the car and getting bored with the wait. I was happy to do so and we had a good visit - the little stinker has discovered how to play videos we can watch together as we chat.

Once safely at home, she did some research on line and found two possible vehicles at dealerships in her town.  One of them was a far better price so she arranged to take a test drive on Wednesday morning, when Eli went to school.  The same friend who picked her up on Sunday provided transportation. She liked the car and was able negotiate a better deal than the on-line price.  This may not sound much to many people, but she struggles with any potential situation that could result in conflict.  I can recall a time that phoning anyone she didn't know well was difficult for her.

I drove out early Thursday, in time to spend a little time with Eli before school.  Once we dropped him off, we headed for the insurance agency to arrange the license for the vehicle before she could pick it up.  After the school pickup,  we headed into the nearby city so she could get the rest of the items left in her vehicle at the tow yard.  I drove because she wasn't feeling comfortable driving on the highway. One of the items was the remote control for her garage door - definitely important. Before I left for home we spent some time at the park letting him run off some energy.

I was absolutely exhausted by the time I arrived home.  It's been a long time since I've driven five hours in a day.  I got a chance to relax on Friday as the Worlds Men's curling event started that morning. While watching I finished knitting the pieces for Eli's sweater - first time in almost a week I worked on it. This morning I blocked and pinned it - once it is dried I'll sew the pieces together and finish the collar and button bands. 

I can officially say that spring is here.  On Thursday before I left for D's, I saw my first robin!  This morning there were two blue jays in my yard.  The jays are pretty birds but, oh my, the racket they make.  I couldn't get to my camera fast enough but I'm sure I'll hear them again.  

That wraps up my week...time for more curling!  Have a great week ahead everyone.  Take care and stay well.