Jul 6, 2020

Megameter Monday

megameter ~ instrument for determining longitude by observing stars

When the grandbaby was over for a swim on the weekend, she showed off her toenails which had been painted a sea-green. So yesterday I thought “why not?” and pulled out my various bottles of nail polish. After much deliberation I chose a bright red and proceeded to paint my toenails . . . and part of my toes.

To be fair, the nail polish was a little on the drippy side, but I honestly can’t remember ever making such a mess of nail polish before. I did manage to clean it up enough that it didn’t look like I dipped my toes in blood, but it took some doing. Guess I’m a little out of practice.

I now understand where the expression “it’s muggy outside” came from. It’s an accurate description of hot, humid weather. You step outside and it feels like you’ve been mugged. We had a heat warning in effect all of last week and it’s continuing on into this week too. I have now fully embraced the whole ‘close up the windows and turn on the central air’. Even when there’s not a lot of difference in the temperature, there’s a huge difference in the humidity.

It’s a good think my gardens are pretty low maintenance, I haven’t had to brave the heat to do much to them. But the beans, peas, and tomatoes all have blossoms on them, so pretty soon I’ll have to be getting out there with my basket to pick beans.

Meanwhile, this year’s bumper crop from my neighbour has been leaf lettuce. Every few days there’s a knock on my door and another bag of lettuce is handed over. It’s really good lettuce too, and perfect for wraps.

Speaking of sharing, the daughter had some Amish Friendship Bread starter that she shared with me a few weeks ago. I dutifully did the mushing and the adding, and at the appropriate time I divided it. And then I figured, why not give the recipients a taste of what they’ll end up with and made three mini loaves to include with the starter and instructions when I passed it along.

Well, serves me right for not reading the instructions. One of the ingredients was pudding mix, which I don’t keep in my cupboard. So halfway through mixing the dough it was off to the store I went, stood in line to get in, stood in line to check out, then came home and finished my bread. Oh, the things we do to get rid of that Amish starter. LOL

Yesterday morning I decided to have my morning coffee out on the deck. It was already starting to warm up, but the neighbourhood was quiet and I could hear the bells from one of the churches playing hymns.

What a peaceful start to the week – I hope it keeps up.

Jun 29, 2020

Megameter Monday

megameter ~ instrument for determining longitude by observing stars

A few weeks ago I posted a picture I’d taken last year of one of the neighbourhood foxes and lamented about not seeing the foxes much anymore. Well, I may not see them in our backyard, but that doesn’t mean they’re not still in the neighbourhood.

One evening around suppertime, I saw this little guy and his mother just up the crescent:

His mother disappeared into a culvert as soon as she saw me coming, but this little guy stayed around to have a chat. They make the weirdest noises! He actually posed for several pictures before getting bored. He trotted up the driveway he was sitting on and disappeared into a back yard.

I think the people in that house are putting food out for them – and if they are it’s a very misguided kindness. While I appreciate being able to get close enough to almost touch him, not everyone looks on the foxes kindly. It’s never a good idea for wildlife to become too trusting of humans.

That being said, I would totally put food out for the wildlife if I lived further out in the country where people are fewer and further between. :-)

It’s kind of ironic that I’ve always lived right on the edge of town but it’s only been since the area’s started to build up that we’re seeing more wildlife. We never saw foxes or coyotes when I was a kid and we had woods and fields all around us. We didn’t even have raccoons or rabbits raiding my mother’s substantial garden (more than half an acre).

Now there’s only one small patch of woods that’s being protected, and the fields have been ploughed under for subdivisions.

In other news . . . I freaked myself out yesterday when I thought I’d lost the bookmarks icon off my browser’s menu bar. I’d bookmarked a couple of my favourite “match 3” games so I wouldn’t have to keep scrolling through the entire page, and next thing I knew my bookmarks were missing from the menu bar. I could add bookmarks, I just couldn’t access my bookmark list.

The ones I have sitting on the menu bar, the ones I use most frequently, were still there, but the rest of them were gone. And worse, I had no idea how to get them back. I cautiously checked a couple of settings in my browser but didn’t want to make things worse. Then I just happened to notice a folder where there wasn’t a folder before.

I don’t know what I clicked on or how I did it, but somehow I moved my bookmarks folder from the right side of the menu bar to the left.

Man, I tell you. Some days it just isn’t worth chewing through the restraints!

Jun 22, 2020

Multifid Monday

multifid ~ having many divisions

Well, I don’t know how things are going where you are, but in my neck of the woods things are cautiously starting to open up again. In fact, we’ve even had a few visits from the grandbaby. Guess who the first one into the pool was this year?

FYI The temperature of the water was only 76F. :-)

The circumstances of our visits weren’t the best, however. My son-in-law’s mother was very sick and Thursday night she passed away. No, it wasn’t from COVID-19, it was cancer. The really sad part was that she was in a seniors residence which meant she was on lock-down and the S-I-L was unable to help her out or even visit her for the last several weeks.

As I said, we’ve had a couple of visits with the grandbaby while her parents were off doing the things that needed to be done. She’s cuter than ever – still has a band of imaginary friends and she’s even smarter than she was three months ago. She’s colouring inside the lines now and had no trouble figuring out how our new fan worked. LOL

I finally got the rest of the plants for my garden and everything is doing well. I think I’m going to have to try my hand at pickling beets this year – I’m going to have a bumper crop. I’ve heard you can pickle string beans too, which might be interesting. Of course I’ll have to find the wherewithal to do so first.

I finally broke down and turned on the central air yesterday. It’s not that I have anything against being cool, it’s just I hate having to close all the windows. But when I was starting to feel overheated by mid-morning and I wasn’t even being all that active, it was time to turn on the A/C.

We’ve never had central air before, but it was part of the new furnace we had installed in January. It wasn’t hard to figure out how to flip it from heat to cold, but it did take some adjusting to find the right temperature.

When we used the window unit in the dining room we had it set it for about 68F. With the furnace I started out at 70F, and then inched it up to about 75F. I like it cool, but not too cold. I think the problem is that it’s a little warmer in the hallway where the thermostat is than the rest of the house.

Oh, well. I’m sure I’ll get it right eventually.

Jun 8, 2020

Monochroic Monday

monochroic ~ of one colour

I don’t know about the weather where you are, but here in Southern Ontario it’s been up and down like a yo-yo. In the space of a couple of days we from “should I wear a winter coat or a spring coat” to “how little clothing can I legally get away with,” and as soon as I changed my closet over to summer clothes it got cool again. Every day’s a new adventure – warm or cold? windy or calm? dry or drizzly?

I did get my vegetable garden planted, and for the first couple of weeks it looked like this:

Then we got a whole day and night of steady rain and suddenly it looked like this:

Okay, this picture was taken like a week later, but you could almost see the seeds spouting in the rain. It was crazy.

For those of you curious about such things, the garden in the front has green beans, carrots, yellow beans, and peas. The garden at the back has the tomatoes my neighbour started for me (and who are NOT happy to be outside), beets, and pumpkins. I still haven’t found any pepper plants so there’s also a bare patch in there.

We were very happy that most of the plants in the pond garden came back up this year, and the plants along the back fence.

And we have a new addition to Kelsey Park:

Years ago I painted this horse for my father-in-law for the cottage, and when they sold the cottage it came back to me. The colours were not my choice and I fully intend to re-paint it when we bring it back in, but that will be a project for the winter.

May 18, 2020

Minimuscular Monday

minimuscular ~ tiny

There were a couple of days that were nicely foggy last week, and I do love me a good fog, but it was also kind of rainy so I didn’t want to risk my good camera by going out and taking pictures. That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it.

The picture above is one I took last summer, of our neighbourhood fox waiting patiently for the daughter to take his picture. After we put the big fence up last year we didn’t see much of the foxes in our backyard, but there was a bit of a gap under one part of the fence at the back where they could crawl under and then leave again by a different gap. However, the neighbour behind us jammed some bricks in the gap so no more wildlife save for squirrels.

UPS took pity on me and delivered five more Nora Roberts books over the course of last week and so far I’ve only read one of them. I’m trying to make them last because I prefer the trade size paperbacks and once I’m done them I’ll have to start getting the mass market editions.

As my nod to the holiday weekend where tradition says it’s time to start gardening, I planted some bulbs on Saturday. I had more black lilies than I realized and planted a cluster in the center of the little square garden with the lamp post in it in the front, and two clusters behind the fountain in the pond garden at the back. The rest I gave to the daughter when they stopped by – the grandbaby wanted to show off her bike-riding prowess and biked all the way over to our house (with her parents and the dog walking alongside).

I also had some miniature iris that went in a corner of the front garden as well as the pond garden, something I can’t remember the name of that I have my doubts will grow at all because the bulbs seemed dried out to me, and four bleeding hearts spaced along the back fence.

If it stops raining again, maybe I’ll think about getting the vegetable garden started this week. At least the peas and beans.

May 11, 2020

Manubrial Monday

manubrial ~ shaped like a handle

So . . . how’s everybody doing these days? Getting tired of your own company? Need help digging the hole for the bodies? Those voices in your head starting to make sense?

There seems to be two kinds of people observing the social distancing: those who are taking advantage of all this time to themselves and getting an amazing amount of stuff done, and those who . . . don’t. Needless to say, I fall into the latter category.

What have I been doing lately?

Yesterday I baked – brownies, mini chocolate chip banana muffins, and a pumpkin bread. And I gave them all away because I’ve gained seven pounds since the pandemic started. And because I’m diabetic and shouldn’t eat a lot of that stuff.

I ran out of Nora Roberts books to read last Monday or maybe it was Tuesday. Yes, I have other stuff to read, but I’m kind of stuck on Nora these days. I had two more books that were supposed to arrive on Thursday, but there’s no sign of them yet.

I took a day in front of the TV to work on my stitchery. I started an appliqué piece when I was able to meet with the stitchery group, and I mustered up some renewed interest in it. It’s more fabric art than appliqué to my mind, and I have ideas for two or three more pieces.

Yesterday was Mother’s Day, and the daughter and her family dropped by. They parked in the driveway so we could have a socially distant visit. We froze our butts off, but it was worth it. I didn’t get hugs, but I did get to cuddle my first grandbaby, their dog Bishop. Wasn’t quite the same, but it was better than nothing.

The picture at the top of this post is of my gifts. Aren’t they beautiful? The pressed flowers were all from their garden (I put the sheet of white paper behind it to show them off a little better). And I love the felt flowers too – they did Aunt Florence proud (an aunt we used to do a lot of crafts with).

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to. How about you?

Apr 13, 2020

Multiflorous Monday

multiflorous ~ many-flowered

So here’s the thing. If you thought my life was boring before COVID-19, that was nothing compared to now.

Pretty much the only time I leave the house is to grocery shop – which has become more and more of a trial each week. The weather’s been pretty grey and crappy, but we did have one day nice enough to get outside and pick the sticks up off the front and back yard. Still too early to plant anything though, and I have to wonder if the stores are going to be getting any bedding plants in anyway.

The world seems to be divided into two types of people right now: those who follow the rules and observe social distancing, and those who think they’re impervious and the rest of us are making too big a deal out of this. It’s the latter group who need to grow up, pull their heads out of the sand, and start toeing the line or the pandemic will just keep dragging out.

I think the worst part is the uncertainty. As I mentioned on my other blog we have no clue how long this is going to last. Events that had been rescheduled for later in the summer are starting to get cancelled, as are events that had been scheduled for the fall. The government sets a time-line and constantly revises it.

On Saturday the daughter parked in our driveway so we could visit and give the grandbaby her Easter present. While it was nice to see my girls in person, it was hard not being able to give them a hug. We tried to video chat on Sunday for dinner, but the camera in my lap top wouldn’t work. We could see them, but they couldn’t see us. Still, I guess it was better than nothing.

I’ve been trying to keep busy – reading, writing, doing stitchery – and I’ve been watching more T.V. than I used to. I confess I’ve been getting hooked on the home renovation shows: Love It or List It, Love It or List It Vancouver (with properties costing 2 and 3 million dollars – what do these people do for a living?), Flip or Flop . . .

Got lots of books, lots of craft supplies, lots of electricity for my writing gizmos. I will survive, I’m sure.

So will we all.