Apr 23, 2018

Myrmecology Monday

myrmecology ~ study of ants

Shh! Be very quiet. The sun is out and we don’t want to scare it away!

It seems that mother nature has taken pity on us and spring has finally arrived. The temperature has been rising and the sun has been out more often than not over the last few days. The forecast for the week ahead has a little more rain than I’d like to see, but there’s the promise of the odd day or two of sun as well. The temperature is going to start out around 10 C, if not warmer (that’s around 50 F to you Yankees), gradually dipping down to about 6 C (43 F) by the end of the week. But it's better than minus temperatures.

Saturday was a beautiful day, so naturally I spent it inside, in my office, moving furniture around. I don’t really regret missing out on the beautiful weather, I got a lot of work done and much satisfaction was to be found. Much junk too, which went into the donate pile.

Sunday was an even nicer day, and the hubby and I took a road trip to Peterborough. And I’m sorry, hubby, but the story of why we had to take the daughter’s car is just too funny not to share.

As the hubby was driving home from coaching the kids in the Youth Bowling Canada league, as he does every Saturday morning when he doesn’t have a tournament, he got stopped by the police. Yes, he got a ticket. No, it’s not for what you’d think it was. He wasn’t speeding, he had an expired license plate sticker. Seems he forgot to renew it in February when his birthday rolled round.

His excuse to the officer? “I don’t remember getting the form in the mail to take in for renewal.” Yeah, you did. You found it right where I said you usually stick things like that. In the mail holder on the top shelf of the seating unit in the front hall. To be fair, they send out the renewal forms several months before a person's actual birthday, so I'm pretty sure people forget all the time.

But that meant we’d been driving without the sticker since February – all those trips out of town to bowling tournaments, all those shopping trips, all those trips to Peterborough for my night school course….

Because it was Saturday, the officer gave him a ticket and advised him to keep it in the car in case he got stopped again. The license office is closed on the weekend but he can only be ticketed once over the weekend. But it also meant that we were restricted to driving in town, hence the need to borrow the daughter’s car for our road trip.

So Sunday, while everybody else was outside enjoying the vitamin D, we were stuck behind dumbass slow drivers enjoying a leisurely drive to Peterborough. Our primary goal was to look for a chair for my office, but first we stopped off at one of the big thrift stores to drop off a load of “stuff”. This consisted of the donate pile from my office and a couple of big bags of clothes from the hubby’s closet (which is how he spent his Saturday afternoon).

The furniture store we went to had an amazing selection of chairs. I didn’t want a recliner and I didn’t want a chair that rocked, although I was okay with one that swiveled. There were several I really liked….until I saw the price tag. Call me crazy, but $1200.00 for a reading chair for my office is just a little too pricey for my taste.

As we were winding our way towards the exit, there it was – a dining room table with four chairs. It was pub height, which we always wanted, and could be either round or square. Square, it was 42” across and would fit four people comfortably. Round, which was done by putting up the four drop leaves, it was 60” across and would fit eight comfortably. And it had a lazy susan in the center.

We sat there, thinking about it, for so long that one of the sales staff passing by joked that she wasn’t bringing us our lunch. But the chairs were comfortable and we could totally picture sitting at that table to eat or do paperwork or whatever else people do at dining room tables.

It was twice the price of the dining room set we almost bought at Costco, and missed out on because by the time we decided we wanted it, it was gone and they weren’t getting any more in. And the wood was kind of a barn board grey, which really doesn’t go with anything else in our dining room.

It’s being delivered Wednesday. :-D

Apr 16, 2018

Morphogenesis Monday

morphogenesis ~ origin or development of a body part or organ

Just when I thought it was safe to put on my gardening gloves, this happened:



That’s not really snow you’re seeing, that’s the build up of ice pellets from our two day ice storm over the weekend. We were actually pretty fortunate that we never lost power – many communities around us did. Stretches of the 401 were closed periodically because slippery driving seems to bring out the stupid in people, and there was a whole list of closures and cancellations on Sunday.

I thought April showers were supposed to bring May flowers, not ice and snow?

The bulbs I bought last week are sitting on the dining room table sprouting in their little mesh bags. I’m sure this doesn’t bode well for them if/when I finally get them in the ground. But I have 50 iris bulbs, so surely a few of them will survive.

This week I really have to start thinning out the tomato plants the grandbaby and her Grappy started. They are growing like crazy:



The marigold seedlings are holding on, as is the brave little daisy. The forget-me-nots were still not doing anything, so I bought some more seeds and replanted them (which is why their pot is covered in plastic again).

Not pictured is the green divided tray the grandbaby and I planted a variety of seeds in last week – morning glories, stocks, catnip, and dill. Unfortunately, I did not label anything so I have no idea which pot holds which plant. Guess we’ll be surprised. LOL

We also planted a fairy garden last week. This was a kit that I bought from Giant Tiger and I actually had my doubts about anything coming of it because that’s where I bought the little single pots with the forget-me-nots, marigolds, and daisy. So imagine my surprise when I checked them on the weekend and saw this:



In conclusion, it may not be spring outside, but it’s coming along nicely inside. :-)

Apr 9, 2018

Museology Monday

museology ~ the study of museums

I’m going to let you in on a little secret…I really like a four day work week. Thanks to Easter, I had two of them in a row – one with Friday off and one with Monday. Yes, it meant a four day weekend in the middle, but it was still two four-day work weeks.

A long time ago a company I worked for set their work schedule by a quarterly shift bid. Bids were won by seniority, which meant those with the highest seniority got first pick of the shifts. Having pretty high seniority meant I usually got my first choice, and my top pick was the extended shift that gave me an extra day off. It was awesome. While it lasted.

Last week sped by (naturally), but at the same time it was pretty busy. And Mother Nature was definitely on some kind of psychotropic drug. The drive up to my class on Wednesday was pretty hairy. I had white out conditions on the way up, and black ice on the way home. And did I mention the extremely high winds that batted the car around like a cat toy?

Then Friday we had this:



Seriously? It's April, for crying out loud. Easter's over. NO MORE SNOW!

A couple of weeks ago the grandbaby and I planted some seeds in tiny pots. So far she’s got three marigolds and one daisy coming up – the forget-me-nots aren’t doing anything. But the tomato seeds she and Grappy planted in a bigger pot are growing like gangbusters. I’m going to have to get another pot to thin them out a bit. If they all survive they’re going to have a bumper crop of tomatoes.

It’s supposed to warm up this week but the big question is, is the danger of frost past? I really want to start planting the spring bulbs I bought. And I bought a divided tray to start some morning glory seeds in, which I’ll get the grandbaby to help me with this week, as well as something I can’t remember the name of that is supposed to be night blooming.

C’mon spring! We’re waiting!

Apr 2, 2018

Monophysitism Monday

monophysitism ~ belief that Christ was primarily divine but in human form

Seriously? I’m sitting here looking out the deck doors and I’m seeing a few flakes of snow drifting down. Snow! I was sure today was April 2, not April 1, so why is Mother Nature playing such a cruel joke?

Okay, now I’m seeing more than just a few flakes, and it’s sticking to the deck (sort of). Go away snow! It’s officially spring and I have proof:



Daphne and Donald are back, and they brought a couple of friends. The picture’s not the greatest quality because I was taking it through the glass of the deck door, but I saw Daphne and Donald Thursday morning - they were near our front door when I went out to get groceries. Friday morning I was awakened by the sound of a duck quaking - specifically Daphne. Man, is she chatty! Almost as chatty as the grandbaby. ;-)

I guess she was just announcing that they were back, because she was only annoying noisy that one morning. Every morning since I’ve wakened up to there being at least one duck in the pool, just not all four at once.

Everybody have a good Easter? To me Easter always meant a new outfit to wear to church, in fact I have pictures of my sisters and I dressed in our Easter finery, complete with hats made by an aunt. There was chocolate, of course, usually those big, hollowed out bunnies or chickens waiting on the breakfast table for us.

I’m not much of a church goer, so these days Easter is more about the extra time off than anything else. And if a three day weekend confuses me, I’m sure you can imagine what a four day weekend does. :-D

Normally I do my grocery shopping on Friday mornings, but this time I had to shop on Thursday. And because the daughter had to shop after work, I got home from babysitting around my regular Friday time. Which made Thursday feel so much like Friday that I woke up on Friday thinking it was Saturday.

So Friday I woke up and had my special Saturday morning breakfast (eggs, bacon, and toast) and sat down in front of the TV to watch Flipping Vegas, my Saturday morning indulgence. Only it wasn’t on. That, of course, is when I realized it was Friday, not Saturday.

So yeah, the weekend was pretty confusing and I didn’t get a fraction of the stuff done I wanted to, but that’s kind of normal for me, isn’t it?

One of these days I’m going to get my act together and then watch out world!

Mar 26, 2018

Mycteric Monday

mycteric ~ of, like or pertaining to the nostrils

Well, I’ve found something I hate even more than the time change. Windows 10.

If you’re a reader of my Other Blog then you already know about my search for a new lap top. As much as I love my Samsung, I’m almost afraid to turn it off for fear it won’t start up again. The night it slowed down to an absolute crawl I quickly began backing up all my important stuff onto a flash drive, just in case.

The decision of which lap top to buy wasn’t an easy one. To be honest, I’m not as techy as I used to be and I find that one lap top is pretty much like another. So I made a wish list of what I wanted in a new machine and found my dream machine, had trouble with the ordering process, modified my wish list, and went to Staples where I finally bought my new lap top off the shelf. The only thing it fell short on was the battery life, but to be honest I seldom need to run off the battery for more than a couple of hours at a time, so no big deal.

While a back lit keyboard was on my wish list, the bonus with my new lap top is that it’s multi-coloured and I can set it for any or all the colours. But unfortunately, the big drawback with my new lap top (which would be the same for any new lap top) is that it came with Windows 10, with its eleventy billion useless (to me) apps that seem mostly geared for information mining.

And what’s with all these freaking updates? If you didn’t have it right to begin with, don’t release your product and then expect the consumer to constantly update. I mean seriously! I wasn’t even all the way through the set up process when it decided to update. And update. And update. Several hours later I left it running and went to bed. When I got up the next morning it was just finishing up. I was able to finish my setup, access the main screen, AND THEN IT UPDATED AGAIN!

Once it finished I pretty much shut it down and didn’t open it again until the weekend, after I spent a couple of hours cleaning up my office. I found myself spending more time than I strictly needed to reorganizing files, realized I was just putting off having to deal with the new lap top, and cleared off my desk to make room for it.

I’d like to say I was able to start actually writing on it, but I’d be lying. Clearing off the crap and loading my own stuff on it is going to take some time. I have no idea what most of these “apps” are or do so I don’t want to just willy-nilly start deleting stuff off. And I’m not going to start loading my own stuff on there until I’ve got everything else off.

Guess I’m getting overly cautious in my old age. ;-)

Mar 19, 2018

Meliphagous Monday

meliphagous ~ feeding upon honey

Okay, I’m over the whole time change thing now. It’s safe to talk to me again. At least until the fall. :-D

It was March Break last week, so not only was there no pre-school for the grandbaby, but there was no way I was going near any the playgroup at the local YMCA. It’s busy at the best of times and March Break is definitely not the best of times.

So instead it was up to me to entertain her during the extra time we would have spent at playgroup. Or rather, it was up to Grappy and I. She and Grappy had a great old time just playing, but I had to work at it a little more.

So I pulled out Grammy’s secret weapon - crafts. And the craft of the week was painting. I vaguely remembered doing bubble paint with the daughter and since the grandbaby loves to blow bubbles it seemed like the perfect choice. Now the idea of bubble paint is to mix paint and dish soap and water, and then use a straw to blow into it to create bubbles. And once you have the surface of the pan covered in bubbles, you take a clean sheet of paper and lay it over them to make a print.

I have no idea what I did wrong, but we were unable to get the soap mixture to bubble. We both blew into it and .... nothing. Pretty disappointing. But we discovered that paint mixed with soap is a great texture for finger painting, so all was not lost.



The grandbaby was a little heavy handed with the paint, so when I hung the finished pictures from a line I’d strung up, they kind of dripped a bit. But at least with all that soap mixed with the paint clean up was a snap. ;-)

I’ve done it before, so I know it works. I guess it’s just a matter of finding the right mix. We’ll give it another try sometime, maybe when the weather is warmer and we can try it outside.

In the meantime, I guess it’s back to markers and stickers.

Mar 12, 2018

Mammock Monday

mammock ~ scrap or shred; a broken piece

First of all, I want to state for the record that I HATE the time change. The purpose it was intended to serve no longer applies, and in the next election I will only vote for the party that promises to get rid of it.

Seriously!

Somewhat quiet week last week, and the same could be said for the weekend, other than a trip to one of the nearby malls. The mall in our town is kind of sad and pathetic, so if you want to do any real shopping it’s an hour drive in any direction but south - we’re right on the lake so if you go south you’ll end up in Lake Ontario. ;-)

Sunday I worked away in my office, going through files and moving folders around. This part of the Great Office Shuffle is turning out to be more complicated than I expected. While I have storage space in the closet, the big question is what should go in there and what needs to be closer at hand. This is made even more complicated by the fact that I’m technically organizing two offices - my new one and my old one.

Files, folders and supplies I need close at hand will go in the filing space of my new office. Supplies and important stuff that I do not need close at hand will go in the old office. Supplies I won’t need very often and files/folders that I want to keep but don’t need close at hand can go in the storage closet.

There is a lot of stuff to go through and shuffle around. Not just blank paper (in various weights and colours) but notebooks (various shapes and sizes), binders, folders, document covers, printable labels, and photo paper. And let’s not forget the files full of....stuff - stories and pictures and information.

In my younger days I used to enjoy cutting up magazines -saving stories, recipes, articles, pictures - even National Geographics weren’t safe from my scissors. This has led to a great number of folders of clippings. Once box I found was all recipes. It looked like at one time I tried to organize them by gluing them to three-ring paper and put them in binders, but it’s got to be at least ten years since I even saw that box.

It kind of put me in the mind of the show on the Arts & Entertainment network called Hoarders. Have you ever seen it? Look it up if you haven’t. I can only watch it for short periods of time, I find it too disturbing. Maybe because I’m such a pack rat and I can relate a little too well to these people. I can live with being a pack rat, but I can’t imagine being a hoarder. Hence the purging of the boxes of files in the offices. And my ongoing efforts to de-junk the rest of the house.

And after all, it’s not like we can take it with us.