Saturday, 1 October 2022

Visits and autumn colours

This week has flown by in a flash, and I'm reminded we're a mere three months away from 2023. Autumn is definitely here with cool nights, though the heat has been turned up during the days. Thursday, we broke a record of 135 years, with a high of 31C (88F). It's cooled off since and I will spend some time this weekend pulling annuals from the containers. There is definite frost in the forecast this upcoming week and I'd rather pull while they bloom than clean up a sodden mess.

As I mentioned last week I spent a couple of days visiting my daughter and grandson. Lots was accomplished inside the house on that first day so we took a break at the park on Saturday afternoon. As soon as Eli arrives at the park, he removes his shoes and socks - hence the foot photo from wordless Wednesday. I swear if he ever grows into those feet, he's going to be a very big boy. D tells me he is six inches taller than most of his classmates, and at least 3 inches taller than the next tallest. This surprises me as neither his mom nor dad are tall, however my son and my brothers are all over 6" so he does come by it honestly.

One of his favorite pieces of equipment is this swing. He sat on the swing, asked us to give him a push, and then climbed to his feet. Evidence of great core strength and no fear! 

I drove back Sunday morning, planning to stop in the valley if the autumn colors were evident. But it was still pretty green so I kept on driving. I did make it home in time to watch the final curling game of the weekend. (I didn't miss out on the women's final as I'd PVR'd it and watched it later - priorities, right?)

Tuesday I headed to pick up a few grocery items that were on sale. Since it was senior's day at Value Village I headed there too. I wasn't looking for anything in particular, and was mostly browsing. Then I spotted these lamps (the photo makes the one shade look smaller but it actually isn't). I got the pair for less than $20. When I got home I discovered they are tri light lamps - perfect for my need for better lighting for stitching. Even though the bulbs were $20 a piece these were still a decent bargain. They replace an old set I've had for 15 years or so that will be passed on to my daughter. 

Wednesday was stitch and chat with six of us in attendance. One of the regulars, D wasn't able to make it; S said D had Covid a few months ago and hasn't completely recovered yet. All the more reason to try to avoid it, knock wood. One of the ladies is working on a knitted kitchen towel; it is working up so nicely that I'll have to ask if I can photocopy the pattern. S had been to the optometrist that morning and had her eyes dilated so she sat and kept us entertained. 

On Thursday I took a drive out to my brother's place in the valley north west of Regina. Neither he nor I know why but in that part of the valley the leaves have changed color and the wind we've had this week has taken a lot down already. I did get a few photos to share. As I was driving above the valley I spotted a hawk on the bale in the field and came to a screeching halt to take a photo. It flew off, but then I noticed there was another hawk just a couple of bales further along. This time I was a little more cautious and was able to get the shot before it flew off. R thinks it is likely a red-tailed hawk. 

This next photo is my favorite of the day and was taken as I drove down the hill to the valley. I pulled off to the side of the road, and for the first time in my memory of making that drive, I had two vehicles pass by. Almost a traffic jam, lol!
It is unusual to still see the green on the valley floor at this time of the year. The red roofed Anglican church is rarely used, mostly for weddings and a few funerals. There is a cemetery on the property too.

After checking R's newest project, a rocker for the front porch, the two of us took a walk over to a nature reserve next door. I should mention my back was giving me grief so our walk was mostly limited to the lower elevations though there were a couple of places where we had to climb. Thank goodness for the small saplings along the path. At the end of the trail, we reached the parking lot and turned around there to return to the house. We had Kola with us (the dog) and dogs are not permitted in this area. 
R's property runs up against the preserve and he maintains many of the trails that lead in and out. Since he's done started doing this work, they have started marking the trails for their members. It works for R as he likes to run the trails and they appreciate the widening of the deer paths. 

We headed back to the house and sat out on the verandah chatting for a half hour or so before I headed back to the city. By the time I arrived home, my back felt even worse, so I called the chiropractor and made an appointment for Friday morning. Good thing, as I woke up in the morning in the shape of an S. My left hip appeared to be an inch or so higher than the right and any movement that required me to bend was extremely painful. 

My appointment went well, starting with a ten minute electronic massage - a first for me. I felt absolutely no pain while that was happening. She did an adjustment in my lower and upper back and I can't say that wasn't somewhat painful. Before I left she explained that my muscles are tight and my sciatic nerve is inflamed causing the spasms that shifted me into the S position. I'm to take an anti-inflammatory, and keep active as sitting or laying down will merely cause things to seize up.

So I came home, took a couple of Aleve and headed outdoors to start the fall clean-up. No heavy lifting was done, I merely cleaned up a couple of containers, cut back the ferns, and swept the front patio and back deck. Indoors I did sit briefly for my lunch, and later to do a bit of crocheting. But I timed my breaks based on the television, and got up to move during the commercials. As the day went on, the pain did lessen quite a bit and I got in over 14,000 steps. 

I might have overdone it a bit, as I woke this morning feeling quite stiff and sore.  I'm continuing to move though as sitting definitely is not good for me. The laundry is done for the week, and I'm heading outdoors to pull a couple more containers. Then there is baseball and football to keep me amused until bedtime.

Just one last photo before I end this post.  It was taken with my cellphone early one morning as the morning light was shining on the tree. Since then, the wind has come up and the tree is almost bare.

The rest of the trees on the street have yet to change colour, but I suspect it won't be very many days before they too are losing leaves. 

Have a great week ahead everyone!

Thursday, 22 September 2022

Short and sweet

This will be a short post as it was a very quiet first half of the week, and I'm off to visit my daughter and grandson for the weekend. It's also been very cool with temperatures near freezing most nights. I turned the furnace on for one cycle on this morning - it was a mere 18C/64F inside this morning. It strikes me that I'd be quite comfortable with that temperature outdoors but inside it feels very cool. 

Grocery shopping was accomplished on Monday and I met with the stitch and chat group on Wednesday. We were up to six of us, including P who joined last week. There were a variety of items being worked on, including counted cross stitch, knitting, crocheting and embroidery. This last project looked like a lot of fun. B brought it with her and she and S worked on it together. They were stitching French knots for eyes, and running stitch for mouths on felt teeth. A tooth is then blanket stitched onto a small pillow case with an opening at the top for the insertion of a lost tooth for the tooth fairy to retrieve. These are being made for a craft sale in the snowbird community in Arizona where they both have homes. At least two of the group will be heading south in a few weeks. 

I've been working on another scarf but took a short break from that to make my little goblin. (My son says it looks like a snowman dressed up for Halloween). I need to find a piece of black felt to make a little jack-o-lantern face for the little basket. It was a fun little project, but I always forget how much time it takes to put together all the small pieces. The crocheting itself is quick and generally easy.  I don't think I have enough white wool to make the little girl goblin (she has a pony tail with the bow). It definitely helped use up a bit of scrap yarn.

This morning I'm on a mission to find my mom's mitten pattern. I seem to have misplaced the physical book so I'll try to find the/a digital pattern. She had made notes in the margins that I found helpful so I'm annoyed with myself for losing it. I've been through the ottomans where I keep supplies and pattern books several times already so it's time to look for it on-line.

There is curling on the television too - an event being held in Fredericton, New Brunswick. There were sixteen women's and sixteen men's teams entered and it's a single knock-out event. In other words, if you lose a game, you're out of the tournament. As a result it's a short event and will be complete by Sunday afternoon. With three draws today I'll be doing house work and packing for my short trip in between games. I have a stack of paperwork for D, some items that were left behind when they were here last, a project or two to work on while I'm there, and of course, my clothes and personal items that need to be made ready. I'll also take my laptop so I'll be able to watch the curling. 

Have a great weekend everyone! I'll likely post again when I return from my visit. 

Saturday, 17 September 2022

Cool and quiet

The weather has definitely turned to autumn. The photo on Wednesday was actually taken mid-morning after it warmed up several degrees. And yes, the thermometer is measured in Fahrenheit. We've been overcast with occasional light rain for several days and it doesn't warm up much during the day. While the house feels cool, I haven't yet turned on the furnace but I have had to wear socks! I've been using the oven to make dinner and baked a cake one day in a effort to bring the temperature up a little bit. Normally at this time of year I'd open up the sunroom - it helps to warm up the rest of the house but without sun it hasn't been nice enough to do so.

I did go for a walk Wednesday morning as I wanted to check out the creek and pond. As I entered the park I spotted the tree that seems to be the first to change color every year.

The thistles have gone to seed.

It was quiet at the creek; I only saw eight ducks in total.

There were far more geese at the pond, but far less than I've seen in years past. I have to wonder if, due to the heat we've had this summer, they haven't delayed their departure to the south. I'll have to ensure I do my walk more often.
My childish nature came out when I spotted this goose with it's butt in the air. 
I was watching for the red-necked grebes and found one at this end of the pond as well. I think it's one of the young ones from this year due to the mottling on the feathers.

This shot was a lucky one, as this bird was just resurfacing after a dive. I think it's a cormorant because it doesn't have a red neck like the grebe. I haven't seen the cormorants this summer at the pond but they've been their in the past.

Then I was excited to spot a marbled godwit on the edge of the pond. I was able to get fairly close before it spotted me and flew off.

I made it back to the house just as the rain started. Perfect timing. That afternoon I went to my stitch and chat group. We were joined by someone new to the group who came to check it out. P had moved the city just a year or so ago. She didn't bring a project with her but stayed to chat and said she'd be back next week. There are a few regulars who haven't yet turned up - a couple are away and another is working. For a small group we certainly have no problem finding things to talk about.

With the exception of Wednesday, I didn't leave the house for errands or shopping. Good for the wallet, though I did make on on-line purchase. I've finished knitting the tank top and I've blocked it before I sew it together. Since I tend to procrastinate, that might happen in a week or so. :)  I've finished three toques/beanies as well. The counted cross stitch is still in early stages and I've already found a mistake I made. Argh! I've pulled another skein of yarn for another toque/beanie and have started the little crocheted ghost. If you can't tell, I've spent a lot of time sitting and not a lot of time on much else.

I have to say September baseball is a lot of fun to watch. Though I do wish the Blue Jays were a bit more consistent; one game they look amazing and then another game they tank. Last year they were out of the play-offs by a single game, so I'm hoping they can pull out a wild card spot this year. 

The Riders finally got rid of the player I was so upset about, but they too are not having their best season. This isn't unusual for the team throughout its tenure, but the last few years have been better than most. This week, the QB and his wife welcomed a son, so the commentary was the need to win the game for the little one. It didn't happen, as the opposition managed a last minute drive to score a field goal for the win. I'm pretty certain the baby neither knew nor cared about the outcome.

Curling has started in earnest, though there is no televised events. YouTube and Facebook are my options for watching the live streams.. This weekend there are both men and women's events - lots to watch. For the moment I'm catching up on blog reading, some PVR'ed television, with a cat on my lap wanting attention. It looks like the weekend is going to be much the same as the rest of the week.

Have a great week ahead everyone!

Saturday, 10 September 2022

Highs, lows, and in between

What an emotional week it has been, with all that has been happening at home and abroad. While I was never concerned about my safety in light of the search for the mass murderer, the thought of what the victims (those who survived) and the families who lost loved ones were going through was never far from my mind. 

When Queen Elizabeth II passed on Thursday, it was another blow. I don't consider myself a monarchist, however she has been a steadfast presence in the lives of Canadians for decades, and is the only British monarch in my lifetime until now. She always demonstrated such grace, such poise, no matter the situation and I admired her greatly. While she was often the voice of calm through times of trouble and sorrow, she also had a wonderful sense of humour. One of those fun moments is a favorite of mine, when she and Paddington Bear met for tea in a video ahead of her Platinum Jubilee this spring. She truly will be missed. 

This is also the week my grandson had his first full day of kindergarten. I got to Facetime with him after school to hear about his day. What a joy that was! D had a call from his teacher the following day and she said he did very well. He was able to sit still when needed to in class, he drew a picture and colored (both activities that are not his favorites), and for the most part, he behaved himself making more green choices than red ones. He's growing up so quickly and I treasure all of these firsts. 

Back to regular programming, our weather has turned. It is most definitely fall weather now. Originally we were forecast for heat this week, but by Wednesday the temperature had dropped significantly and this morning, there was frost on the roof of the neighbour's house. By Friday morning (a cool 3C/37F), most of my tomato plants were starting to look a little worse for wear so I pulled the plants, and picked the larger tomatoes and  peppers. I hope that the green tomatoes will ripen here in the house; those that are ripe will be processed at some point this weekend.

I was actually out of the house four days this week. Tuesday was a visit to Value Village, Wednesday I joined the stitch and chat group at the library, Thursday was grocery day, and on Friday I ran an errand for my daughter. At Value Village I found several counted cross stitch kits, not in the craft area, but tucked in on a shelf of office supplies. Definitely not where I would have thought to find them. I picked up two larger kits, and six smaller ones - all for $17.50! The one large kit had a original price tag of $60 while the smaller ones were marked between $10 and $15. I've started one of the smaller kits - a sunflower - and will share a photo when it is completed. 

There were four of us at the stitch and chat group. It was so nice to see the others, as it has been over two years. I did talk to S once but that was a year ago. Sadly, I learned her husband passed away of cancer last winter. He was just beginning his treatment when the pandemic started. There wasn't a whole lot of stitching - we mostly chatted and caught up on one another's lives. I'm sure next week things will be more "normal", whatever that is.

My grocery run didn't take long - just a few needed items and some sale items that I couldn't pass up.  I've quite appreciated not having to buy potatoes, tomatoes and peppers for the past few weeks. Who knows, maybe I'll pass on growing flowers next year and go strictly veg. 

My knitting is coming along - I've finished the lace pattern portion of the front of my tank top and if all goes well (meaning I work on it), it should be finished this weekend. In the meantime I finished sewing in the ends of the three cowls, and knitted up a child's toque/beanie from the remaining yarn. This is the knitted cowl; the crocheted cowls are simply infinity scarves and not nearly as cozy. I may keep this one for myself. 

I started another toque for the stitching group as I don't have to pay much attention while chatting until it's time to decrease. So if you're keeping count, I have three projects on the go at the moment. AND then there is the sweater I started for Eli a couple of months ago. I'm telling myself I'll get back to that one when the tank top is finished. But, but, but.... Pinterest sent me an notice including the cutes little ghosts for Halloween. I have the supplies so that might happen instead. :)

I expect it will be a quiet weekend - no need to leave the house, and there are various sports events to watch. Including curling! There is an event being held in Alberta this weekend, and it is being live streamed on You-tube. There are three draws today, along with two football and baseball games. At some point I know I'll have a curling game on the laptop while I watch football and/or baseball on the television. While knitting. We're having leftovers for dinner so I don't even have to think about that. 

I should have enough time before all that starts to get the tomatoes cooking down for sauce, so I'd best get to it.  Have a good week ahead everyone!

Wednesday, 7 September 2022

It's over - updated

 For those who haven't heard the latest news, Myles Sanderson apparently stabbed himself, before being taken into custody. He has since died of his injuries. 

In these cases, no one wins. The victims and their families will see no justice in this case, and his parents have lost two sons. They had pleaded for him to turn himself in earlier today.

Wordless Wednesday


Monday, 5 September 2022

A horrible, no good, very bad day - update

 Most of my readers will have heard the news from my province of Saskatchewan yesterday as it has been reported worldwide. In brief, two young men went on a killing spree, leaving ten dead and at least fifteen injured in their wake. It appears that the incidents began at the James Smith Cree Nation and later in the small community of Weldon, Saskatchewan.

In the course of their horrific actions, they stole a vehicle and drove south, eventually arriving in the city of Regina (where I live). The RCMP reported the vehicle had been spotted in the city and the local police have been involved in the search for the two individuals. This included an air search involving the RCMP aircraft. 

There has been, as is appropriate, a lot of attention on the identities of the suspects. Photos of the two have been circulated, including what appears to be police booking photos, and personal photos shared by those I assume to be family or friends. At this point they have not been apprehended. IMO they are holed up somewhere and it is a matter of time before they bolt or are located. 

However, local main stream media has been less attentive to those who were the victims of this tragedy. I've linked an article from APTN news reporting on three of the victims (two are named). Two of these individuals were a couple and lived on the reserve, while the third was an elderly widower who lived in Weldon. The RCMP have stated that some of the victims while others were random. Now their lives and names have been forever entwined. 

My heart goes out to all who have been affected: the victims who remain in hospital, the families who have lost loved ones, and to the communities who will bear the scars of this horrible tragedy. I am grateful for the first responders and the healthcare workers who cared for the victims, to the RCMP and the local authorities who have and continue to search for the perpetrators, and finally to all who have offered their support. 

In time, I hope that the communities will be provided with the necessary supports to begin to recover and heal. As this falls under the jurisdiction of the province, it will be up to our current ministries to step up to the plate. Unfortunately, like so many other provinces, health care and especially mental health care supports are limited and often hard to access especially in rural communities. This is the case even in a community where a similar tragedy took place. Over six years ago, in La Loche, four people were killed and seven injured when a teenager went on a shooting spree. Today, there are no permanent mental health support personnel in the community, with a psychiatrist flying in once a month. That is simply not enough.

We may never know why this happened and I chose not to speculate. For now, I grieve for what might have been. 


Late this afternoon (Sept 5) the RCMP held a news conference to advise that one of the suspects Damien Sanderson, 31, was located deceased near one of the 13 locations. According to the report, the wounds did not appear to be self-inflicted, however an autopsy will be completed to confirm cause of death.

His brother Myles is believed to be injured, and may seek medical attention. He is still at large and efforts continue to locate him.

I also want to correct a possible misconception from my post in reference to the mental health supports I believe will be needed in these communities. These supports would be meant for the survivors: the victims and their families. I cannot envision how anyone could have been affected by this tragic event without suffering PTSD as a result. While I am certain there will be grief counsellors present (and are likely already in place), these impacts will be felt for years to come. I hope that clarifies my position.

Saturday, 3 September 2022

Keeping up, catching up

First off, a word (or several) about the wordless Wednesday photos. The first photo was taken with my Canon T3i and the second with my cellphone. I was using the 75-300mm lens on the camera and had zoomed in as much as I could from where I stood. The cellphone was zoomed in too, but not to its full extent. To be honest, I was surprised and very pleased at the level of detail in the cellphone photo. The new header photo was also taken with the cellphone camera. I can see myself using it more often and not carrying the larger camera as much. Though if I'm somewhere I'd be worried about dropping my cellphone I'll use the camera.


September has always seemed to me to be the appropriate time to start a new year. Here in my part of the world, January is merely the midst of the winter season and usually the month with the worst weather (both cold and snow). September on the other hand, heralds the end of summer vacations with folks heading back to work and the children back to school, along with the change in season. One of my fondest memories is opening up that first new notebook to begin taking notes in class. In my work life, fall was also a time when we did a lot of hiring and training. It was a often a time of renewal. 

This year, September is coming in hot. We've been under a heat advisory for several days this week and it looks that it will continue for another week yet. Thankfully, the temperatures are cooling off overnight so the mornings feel fresh. Unlike other years, we didn't get even a hint of frost in late August. Nor is there frost in the forecast. 

I've been picking tomatoes every day and peppers at least once a week. While I don't get the volume of produce to make a lot of anything, I can't keep up eating the tomatoes fresh. This week I made a small batch of salsa (one jar) and a small batch of tomato sauce. A half of the jar of salsa was used in a taco bake - it was delicious! The green peppers are done, and the red ones are just starting to ripen. I used two of the latter in the salsa - they had just the right amount of heat for a mild salsa. The tomato sauce has been frozen and will be used this winter to flavor soups.

The last of the potatoes were dug up as well, yielding about 5 pounds. Enough for a few more meals. In total I harvested just under 25 pounds of potatoes from three containers...not a bad haul. I'm allowing some of the marigolds to go to seed and watching the petunias for seed pods too. I didn't have a lot of luck germinating the seeds, the ones that did have done well (both tomatoes and marigolds). This has the potential of saving me a few dollars at the garden centers in the spring....though I may have to invest in a grow light.

For the most part, it's been a pretty quiet week. I did my grocery shopping on Monday, ran out to Costco to pick up a couple of things for D on Wednesday and while I was there I purchased the first Christmas gift. It's for my son, but in some ways will be a gift for me too. He has remained upstairs since the basement was re-done and the two of us are learning to live in close proximity and with different schedules. I'm an early to bed, early to rise, he's quite the opposite especially on weekends. There are times when one of us disturbs the other's sleep, and it's not always me. I have been known to get up and ask him to turn down his music - the gift is a set of wireless headphones that I hope will be beneficial to both of us.

On Thursday I had a dental appointment for a tooth extraction. I'd had this molar filled twice, the first time over 40 years ago, and the second about 20-25 years ago. About a week ago, the side of the remaining tooth broke off leaving a large hole. To fill it would have meant the entire tooth above the gum was filling so I opted to have it removed. Those of you who have followed for any length of time know I am terrified to go to the dentist. It isn't the procedure itself, it's the needles that are required for the freezing. I swear the needle ends up in my ear least that's how it has felt. My last few times I've been to the dentist, she used anesthesia. However this time, she didn't have a tech available to assist. I decided I'd have to put on my big girl pants and do what needed to be done. I won't get into the gory details, but everything went well - the dentist did a great job and I had little to no residual pain. I went to bed before the freezing had dispersed and slept for 7 1/2 hours. :)

Eli started kindergarten on Friday - D sent me several photos. He didn't look too impressed. The first day was short, just an hour long so he could meet his teacher and educational assistants. Due to his ADHD diagnosis he has been assigned a full-time E.A. this year. There are two in the class room and I assume they'll spell one another off while being available to other children too. 

I've managed to get a few of my knitting/crocheting
projects completed. My tank top is still on the needles but I've finished the lace pattern and the rest should go quite quicky from there. Three cowls were made up, one knitted, two crocheted and I found another ball of the same yarn when I was rooting through my stash. I think I'll use it for head bands as there isn't enough for another cowl. Almost every day I get e-mails from Pinterest with ideas - usually I ignore them, but I spotted a cute little knitted pumpkin pattern so I gave it a try. I do have a few skeins of orange yarn to use up, but I can't see using it for pumpkins. I'll have to look for another idea for something seasonal; perhaps a table runner. 

On a totally different note, with the cooler mornings, I've been getting some yard work done but I swear the weeds are popping up every time I turn my back. Between the rain last week and the heat this week, the grass sorely needed mowing. Indoors I've done the usual housework, knitted and crocheted, and watched baseball. 

This weekend will be a football weekend as well with the Labour Day games the focus. Our Riders will play the Winnipeg Blue Bombers here - it's always an important game, but this year the Riders aren't doing well so it may be a blow out. I haven't been as enthused with this year's team - there was a particularly ugly hit on an opposing quarterback by a certain player early in the season. This was followed by racial slurs hurled by the same player in his celebration. The hit took the QB out for most of the season (he's not yet back), the comments were disgusting, and yet the team did nothing about this yahoo. He was fined by the league and suspended for a few games, but in my mind there is no place for this type of behaviour and he ought to have been released. As a result it's put a damper on my interest in watching this year's team. Okay, I'm off my soapbox now.

I'm off to water the containers before I sit down to catch up on blog reading, some PVR'ed television, and more knitting.  Have a great week ahead everyone! 

Saturday, 27 August 2022

From fun to humdrum

The week started off with a short visit from my favorite little guy and his mom. They were here for doctor's appointments for both and an optometrist's appointment for Eli. Our not so little stinker is at the top of the scale for height but is a skinny little guy. I'm not surprised as he is in perpetual motion. He's generally a good eater, but has his faves like most kids. 

Before their first appointment, we went over to a cellphone outlet in a strip mall near my house. D's Iphone is ancient (meaning more than 3 years old) and has been acting up a lot lately, so it was time for a replacement. I had received an e-mail from my carrier with a really good deal on a new phone and a reduction in cost for the contract. So we both ended up with new phones. She got the Iphone 13, and I picked up a Samsung 22. My phone is just the basic model but the camera on it is far better than my old phone. The photo of the bumblebee on Wednesday was taken at 3X zoom and the color is as close to true as I've ever seen. Credit for my purchase goes to Furry Gnome who posted about the camera on his Samsung 22 Ultra and shared some amazing photos. Since I was ready for a new phone, I appreciated that the research was done for me. :)

D got away for a bit on Monday afternoon to meet a friend, while Eli and I headed to the park. While he does play on the equipment, he prefers an imagination game, where the retaining walls at the park become our "castles" and we take turns sending bombs at each other's walls. I think the child plays too many video games. Back at the house, Uncle C arrived home from work and much hilarity ensued while I made dinner for us. More fun was had with Uncle C, then it was bath and bedtime. D said he was asleep in less than five minutes. :)

The following morning, D had one more doctor's appointment so Eli and I headed out for a walk to the pond. It was very quiet there with just a few ducks, one sole grebe, and a hare. On the way home he convinced me to stop at the park for a few more rounds of bombing. 

Back at the house, Eli wanted something more to eat; he opened the bottom freezer on the fridge and discovered a peanut butter cup bar that Uncle C had stashed there. I let him have a piece as a treat after telling him it was Uncle C's. Eli asked me not to tell C that he had eaten it, but instead to say that a robber had broken into the house and stolen it, but the police had caught him and he was in jail! C and I had a good chuckle over that later in the day. On a video chat that evening C teased Eli about "stealing" his chocolate - Eli stuck to his robber story but he knows we know the truth.

I made a trip out on Thursday to pick up cat litter at the pet store. It was senior's day and I like to get that small discount. As well, I wandered over to Value Village, where I found five books to add to the pile for reading. Two are Catherine Coulter books, two are Jeffery Archer and the fifth by James Patterson. I haven't read a lot of books by the latter, though I know he's a prolific author. V.V. has an offer of buy four, get the fifth free so I figured why not. Of course now I have a large pile of books to get through. I'm currently reading another Fannie Flagg book, "Welcome to the World, Baby Girl!" I'm just a few chapters in and the characters are beginning to take shape in my mind. 

I can't say I did a whole heck of a lot around here this week. I've been reading, knitting, watching baseball, and doing only the necessary housework to keep the place from looking like a disaster. I really need to find some momentum and get downstairs to finish the sanding on the door frames and baseboards. Sigh, this was supposed to be done in the heat of the summer but I keep putting it off. I'm hoping this lack of motivation/energy is overcome soon...I feel like such a slacker. 

Outside I've been picking tomatoes every day, and dug up a container of potatoes to send home with D. The veg containers are starting to die back, with leaves turning yellow and brown. I pulled one of the pepper plants as it was done producing. The other is still doing well, though the peppers aren't yet turning red. I picked a couple peppers (not a peck) to see if they will ripen in the house. When I pick up groceries I'll grab some necessary ingredients and make up a small batch of salsa. 

I got the lawn mowed on Monday evening, just ahead of a heavy rain. We got about a 1/2 inch in less than an hour. The weather has been up and down, nearing 30C (87F) some days and only 20C (68F) midweek. We had another 1/4 inch of rain last night during a thunderstorm - thankfully no hail with this one. The next week looks much the same, a couple of cool days, followed more heat. No risk of frost in August this year. 

Today I'm doing much the same as I have the rest of the week. There's baseball, football, reading, knitting and a bit of puttering in the house between games. Yep, I'm going to ignore the basement for another day.  Have a great week ahead everyone! 

Saturday, 20 August 2022

Cleaning things up

Wednesday's photos were the result of a thunderstorm that rolled through overnight into Monday, bringing wind and hail. I was woken about 12:30 a.m. by the sound of thunder and worse yet, hail hitting the bedroom window. I got up immediately to close it as well the windows in the front room and sun room. I normally enjoy a good thunderstorm, but the hail that came with this one was downright frightening. I can't recall ever listening to what sounded almost like gunshots as the hail hit the windows. I kept running between the front of the house and the sunroom as I was worried a window would get broken. Thankfully, that didn't happen but my veg and flowers got beaten pretty badly. Several peppers and tomatoes were literally torn in pieces. My flower containers looked a mess. 

The hail fell for nearly 20 minutes, and the rain continued for some time afterward. (I went back to bed when the worst of it seemed to be over). When I got up in the morning, I went out to survey the damage. I didn't lose any plants, but the tomatoes lost a lot of their fruit, at a least a couple dozen that were pitted, and I picked up another couple dozen that had dropped from the plants onto the deck or the lawn. The evergreens lost bits of the branches and lots of immature pine cones. I spent about an hour outside cleaning up the debris and had nearly a half a large garbage bag full. 

I'm grateful that the storm didn't cause more damage than it did. I'm also grateful that our vehicles were safely in the garage. Many of my neighbours park on their driveways or on the street and I can't help but wonder if they didn't see some damage, even if it was minor. 

Though I hadn't planned to go out early this week, I received an e-mail with a couple of sale items at Costco so I made a trip to the store. Furnace filters (3 in package) were on sale for $33.99 - the same filter is over $20 each at Walmart. I also picked up a bag of Whiskas cat food for D. I did wander the store but I didn't need any large volume items so the stop was short. From there I headed to Walmart to pick up some fresh veg and bread. I stopped at home to put away the groceries and then headed back out to the thrift stores. I picked a few items, including a new bathing suit and a pair of pants for Eli. He's such a skinny kid, and he's stretching out. Both articles have draw string waists and the pants have elastic at the ankle. I'm hoping they'll fit and will find out when he and his mom come for a visit next week. If not, I'll return them for store credit. 

Mid-week I finally got off my butt and ventured downstairs to finish the caulking and start the sanding process. The closet in the new room, the door frames, and the other bedroom were caulked, and the sanding was completed in the main room, hallway and laundry room the first day. I had been working for about an hour when my brother called, and I decided I was done for the day at that point. When the call finished I went out to deck to read. It was raining but I have top area under the overhang of the sunroom. Oh it was so nice to sit and enjoy the fresh air. 

I finished the book, Back Fire by Catherine Coulter. It is billed as an FBI thriller, and a thriller it was. There were quite a few twists and turns and by the last few chapters I didn't want to put it down. Of course, I knew the story would end well, but it still had me  I'll definitely look for more books by her in the future.

Beyond that I've been doing more knitting on my tank top and I started a cowl with some yarn I picked up on sale some time ago. I have enough I should be able to make two cowls. They may end up being gifts - I probably won't donate these.  The baseball and junior hockey has kept me entertained most evenings (and some afternoons) so I can sit and knit and look up at the television when something important happens.

I harvested my first container of potatoes and was very pleasantly surprised to find I had over fourteen pounds of potatoes from one container. We don't normally eat a lot of potatoes and a five pound bag usually lasts us a couple of weeks. I doubt I can keep these for more than two weeks in back of the cupboard so I told my son we'll be eating more potatoes for the next while. There is no storage in this house cool enough for them to keep. I recall when I was a child, we had bags and bags of potatoes in the cellar that fed us all winter. Even thinking about it, I can smell that aroma of dirt and potatoes and remember the feel of the burlap bag they were kept in. And yes, we did have potatoes for dinner that evening. 

It was a little cooler on Thursday morning, so I headed out for a walk. There were a few ducks at the creek, but the water level is pretty low. I was hoping to see the grebes and the pelicans at the pond and I got lucky. There was only the one pelican, but the family of grebes was on the water. I was a bit worried as the water level had been raised and their original nest appeared to have been flooded. So seeing them was a real treat.

The grebes were a distance away from the shore so it's not the best photo. There were actually three small ones, the other was way ahead of the rest of the group.

I've no idea what is in the pond to feed on, but it is obviously enough even for this large bird.

It's childish of me, but I always get a kick out of the upside down ducks. I snapped off a number of shots but didn't all three underwater...does one look out for the others?

Most of the wildflowers have dried up or gone to seed, but this purple loosestrife on the edge of the pond seems to be at its peak. Considered a noxious weed, it tends to overtake native plants and isn't critter friendly. Such a shame because it is so pretty. 

Today, I've had a lovely chat with a friend, while getting in my walk. We got caught up on the happenings of each other's lives, our children's lives, and of course, how wonderful our grandchild/ren are. The baseball is on the television so my knitting needles will be kept busy. It's a lovely sunny day, with the temperature climbing - it's 26C (79F) at noon. I'll need to get out and water the containers and pick more tomatoes at some point. But for now I'm going to relax, have a bite to eat, and cheer on the Jays.

Have a great week ahead everyone!

Saturday, 13 August 2022

Back to my normal

It certainly has been a much more relaxed (and less emotional) week than the last. I did get a call late in the week for my next mammogram appointment in February 2023. It amazes they are booking so far out already. I've put it in my calendar and won't think about it again until closer to the date.

Some shopping did happen this week. Groceries on Monday, and I made a trip to Dollarama and the thrift stores on Tuesday. The best deal at the grocery store was 2 lbs. of blueberries for $4.88. I froze most in two cup bags for later, the rest will be used in my breakfast smoothies. Other than that, there was nothing exceptional - the old regular prices seem to be the new "sale" prices. 

I did do well at the thrift stores. I found a book for Eli, he loves to be read to, as well as a counted cross stitch kit and more yarn (because, of course, I don't already have enough crafts to work on). It was senior's day so I had a 30% off discount. But it was at the Salvation Army that I found my favorite item - a leather purse for around $5 (after everyday senior's discount). I checked it all over and there were no rips or tears in the fabric and the bottom of the purse wasn't dirty or scuffed. I do like purses - it doesn't matter how fat I get, they still fit!

Out in the yard, the tomatoes are starting to ripen on the vine. I've been picking everyday and having them with my lunch or dinner. Two larger peppers were also picked. I'm looking forward to next week when I will pull a hill of potatoes. The one plant is starting to die back so I'm thinking they're just about ready for harvesting. 

We had a very nice rain on Thursday with cool temperatures. My new rain gauge indicated about a 1/4 inch. I'm always happy to have Mother Nature do the watering. My containers have gotten huge this year. The variegated coleus is blooming. I'm hoping to keep at least one or two of the plants going over the winter. I'll take slips rather than transplanting the entire plants as I haven't the room for them otherwise.

My one container of petunias on the deck had gotten very leggy and was looking terrible. I gave it a haircut a week or ten days ago and lost most of the blooms. Today it's looking fantastic. You wouldn't know it but there is a geranium in there too. I won't do that again as the petunia has hogged the space.

Back indoors, I spent some time knitting; I finished the first of the scarves I'll donate this year and continued working on my tank top. The scarf used up four balls of leftover yarn with just enough left over that I don't feel awful tossing the remainder out. I weaved the ends in yesterday on it as well as the crocheted baby blanket I finished last week. I'll pull a few more balls from my stash and start on another scarf in a day or so.

This morning started out lovely, with a temp of 17C (63F) when I sat out on the deck with my first cup of tea. The forecast is for 28C (82F) later today and those temps are expected to last for the rest of the week. There is a good possibility we'll have thunderstorms - I've had a notification of lightning with 100 kms already this morning. For the moment the windows are open for the fresh air but that won't last much longer. 

I've got baseball and football to watch today, so I'll be happy to stay indoors when it heats up. In the meantime, I'll head outdoors to check on the containers and enjoy some more deck time. I've started reading a novel, Catherine Coulter's Back Fire and I'm really enjoying the story.

I'll leave you with this little sign I found at the dollar store. I'm planning to give it to my daughter but to be honest, it applies to me too. :)  Have a great week ahead everyone.