Sunday, April 30, 2017

Garden Prep, Grateful for the Sun’s Warmth, Birthday Party

Saturday, Apr. 29th is here and I know one young lady in particular who is very happy and excited about that. My daughter, Bridgette, is boarding a plane today heading for Hawaii! After moving from one home to another as well as supervising the company move from London to Guelph, all while keeping her office running, this is a gal who deserves a fantastic vacation. Aloha, my sweet!
                              Related image
We woke up late, around 7:30 and actually that felt kind of nice, sleeping in. It was a restless night for both of us so that explains it. It wasn’t a sunny start today and it certainly wasn’t a warm one, sitting at only 4C. The sun broke through the clouds before too long and after reading and our coffee, I bundled up and headed outside.
Little tiny swallows on a wire
I was determined to get a start on my vegetable garden plot. With shovel in gloved hand, I climbed the hill behind our Suite and tried to see where it would be easiest to dig. Not there, rock, not there, rock, not over here either. Gol-darnit! I had my heart set on planting some things. Before I gave up, I moved over to the far southeast corner near the fence line and where we stop cutting the grass.
Turned out to be the perfect location
Out of the way of our normal grass cutting area
 The shovel went in so I started working in a 6’ x 4’ area to outline my plot. Yes, there were some rocks but I was able to at least make headway. I worked for about 4 hours off and on, coming in for a corn muffin and then back at it. I was determined to get all the top grass off before stopping for the day. My back will NOT thank me for my determination.

While I worked away at the soil, Clemson watched for a while and Bill got out the weed whacker and went around the fence line. Nice to get a start on that, it will make a huge difference for his first cut. The Ridge looks better already. I finished torturing myself around 4 o’clock and went for a walk down the lane and through the field. I know it helps to stretch my leg and back muscles out before coming inside to sit.

Took breathers often

So did Clemson
I hopped in the shower before dinner to prepare for our evening out. We were invited ‘sneakily’ to my sister, Donna’s, for a surprise gathering for Gerry’s 65th birthday. His actual birthday is tomorrow but us girls are heading to London for the clothing exchange, you’ve heard me talk about it. Donna wanted to do this for him tonight.

First digging, without raking

First lot of rocks removed

Bill weed whacking in the corral
By 5 we were both feeling hungry so Bill lit the Weber Q earlier than usual. Instead of the usual salad tonight I went all out and boiled up a large spud. We don’t have them often but once in a while it is nice. With the coolness of the day out there, high of 9c, it was good to have a hot meal tonight. The sausages were mild Italian and very tasty. After dishes, I downloaded my pictures from the day and put some of my post together. 
Gabby on her nest
Can't wait to see the family pictures
We were headed into Hanover by 7:30 and managed to be the first to arrive. Gerry is so laid back that he didn’t seem surprised to see us, but then again we drop in a fair bit. Cathy and Bill, another sister, then Gayle and John arrived and the gig was up. He knew it wasn’t a coincidence. So we all broke into singing Happy Birthday. I can't remember if it was before or after the song when my niece Joanne with Ted and then Mike arrived.
The boys with Gerry

Ted and the girls

My sister, Cathy and friend Mike
It was a fun evening sitting around shooting the breeze with drinks and munchies. It came to a close around 11:30 and we drove home to the Ridge. By the time we arrived, Gerry was officially a year older and could reap the extra benefits of a 65 year old! Happy Birthday, Gerry!
the birthday boy opening his cards
Calling it a night for obvious reasons, it was too late to finish my post. I hope you had an enjoyable day as we did.

The sun disappeared in the clouds at 7:30
Thank you for reading and I would love to hear from you.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Heat Loss, Haircut, Baby Yertle and Taking Control

On Friday, Apr. 28th we woke up to guess what? Clouds again. Lordy oh Lordy, will Julie from CTV news ever get it right this week? The wind had died down this morning only to pick up again by noon hour just in time for the sky to clear and the sun to bring us some warmth.

Good morning
Over coffee/tea Bill and I made plans for today. Not written in stone, we had discussed yesterday that maybe I would go into Hanover for my haircut on Monday and get the license plate cover put on at Heinz while I’m there. They didn’t have one in stock yesterday.
Just another view across our patio set to the pond 

This morning we decided to both drive in and get both things done. Bill will be out of town on Monday and Tuesday so this way I don’t have to drive in next week. He dropped me off at First Choice at 9:30 and I was pleased that there were only 2 customers ahead of me. I was taken care of pronto by Brandy. Who names their offspring after booze anyway? She was charming as is the right type in a snifter.
Dandelions have made an appearance

A peek through the brush along the driveway
I only wanted a trim and she took off at least 2 inches, trying to get rid of my ‘scraggy’ ends. My word, not hers. With my $3 coupon I only had to pay $12.47 plus tax and a tip. Pretty good price, I’d say, and she even blew it dry with some product on it. Such a little touch up makes a huge difference.
What do you see in this picture?
I wandered into Mark’s Work Warehouse as I noticed a ‘storewide sale’. I love that store, their clothes and their sales. I didn’t get too far into the store as I didn’t need anything other than some new socks. Found a great deal, buy one get one for 50% off on Denver Hayes so walked out a happy ‘camper’. Literally!
Meet Baby Yertle
I don't know how I didn't step on him on my way to the Restroom
Bill tooted around town a bit waiting for my text to say I was ready and timed it perfectly as I walked back to the parking lot, he was there. We came home just before 11, done running around for the day. The temperature was rising but not very quickly at 11C and the winds were also stepping it up. Naturally.

I felt a chill so made myself a cup of tea and we each enjoyed one of my corn muffins with butter. Yummy, even without nuking them. After yesterday’s 27C my body was feeling cheated with such a drastic heat loss. I think I’ll brave it this afternoon, bundle up and go out and dig up a persistent nuisance plant in my garden. I can’t remember what Donna called it, but that is my name for it.
this green ground cover plant as well as the green and white is what I'm evacuating
I’m glad I went out, despite the cool wind, as the sun was wonderful. I dug out the 3-prong trowel and a shovel, my garden gloves, a board to sit on and a container for the ‘disposals’. Before I got too far, one of my layers came off. Granted I was wearing a few so I had some to spare.
Clemson checks the air and the sounds around us
Clemson is always happy when our jackets, sweaters or shirts come off. You can see why in the picture. Here he sat listening to the sounds of nature and I’m sure smelling all kinds of things I was not aware of. He was my watch dog and kept me in his sight.
I started at one end of the garden and decided I wasn’t stopping until I got to the other end. It took me about 4 hours and even though I feel confident that I got 90% of these pesky plants, I’m sure there are roots still stretching up to the surface as I type. I’ll watch and keep pulling them. Eventually, I should prevail.
Where you see  brown, is where that plant took over
Once I was finished, I put things away and admired my work. My back always argues with this type of chore so I decided to take a walk down the lane and stretch it and my legs out. Of course, a camera in had means a few pictures of the pond along the way.

Bill came out after feeding Clemson at 5 pm and I showed him the garden. I wanted his opinion of where I wish to plant a small vegetable garden so we checked that area out as well. I plan to start digging in the next couple of weeks if the weather ever co-operates.

Done for today
Since we had some leftovers in the fridge that needed to be cleaned up, that is what we did for supper. I plugged us in after using solar power all day and reheated a pork chop and a hamburg patty. On the side, I made up a salad. It was just enough and tasted pretty good.

With dinner and dishes cleaned up, I noticed the clouds had moved in leaving only a sliver of sun. It was a pretty good day and it feels pretty nice that at 8 o’clock the sun still hasn’t set. I enjoy watching the performance put on in the evening sky, the colours, the play of the clouds and the overall effect. Tonight was no different.

Goodnight all

I hope that you have enjoyed your day. I hope that the sun shone in your world.

Thank you for reading. I love to read your comments.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Short and Sweet, Passports, Storm Coming

On Thursday, Apr. 27th we woke up early, 6:15 early, and had a coffee before heading out the door at 7:15 am. We had an appointment to take the truck in to get the bumper replaced. Remember the El Reno casino incident? Yah, well they had to replace the whole bumper, by law. The bummer is that we will have to pay our 500 deductible. How is that fair?
Beautiful sunrise this morning
After dropping Black Beauty off, we drove to Donna’s for a quick hello, picked up my jackets I left her last week and picked up a $3 coupon for First Choice Haircutters. My hair needs a trim and instead of doing it myself, thought I’d splurge! Ha!

We then stopped at Shopper’s Drug Mart to get our passport pictures taken. Lucky us, we were there at 8:30 and got taken care of immediately. Seniors deals were on so we got 20% off, bonus! Too bad the pictures are so somber, no glasses, don’t smile, gotta see your ears. I must remember not to show my teeth when looking at the next Border Security person. Good deal at $11.99 each. I'm not posting those lovely pictures.
Look at that sky
 We then drove to Owen Sound to the Service Canada office in the Heritage Mall and submitted our applications. Ouch, these passports are so expensive, they have us travelers by the short hairs. We got the best deal going and ordered it for 10 years. Best service we’ve received though in any passport dealings.

I wanted to get my hair cut but when I stuck my head in the door, I was told “at least an hour wait”. All 5 chairs were filled, so I left. We headed back home after a quick stop at Pet Smart and Princess Auto. We were both hungry and tired and wanting to take advantage of this nice warm day. 

Even with the clouds, it was a warm day
Bill was kind enough to stop in Williamsford so I could get a picture of this store. It reminds me of Julian, California. I’m going to have to check out their pies too!

 If it wasn’t for the wind, it would have been a very hot, humid day for sure but it could have calmed down a wee bit, no? The temperature rose to 27C so I went out and read my book. 

Bill continued to work in his trailer and by 2:30 we got the call that our truck was ready.
On the way back from Owen Sound, I took a picture of my sister, Gayle's Montana
The ground was soft when they got home and it got stuck this way
Looks nice though down in their valley
A quick trip back into Hanover, me thinking on the way home in the car I could stop at F.C. for that trim. Looking behind me at the blackening sky to the west, I didn’t think it would be a good idea to get caught in that on my way home. It wasn’t that important today, I just wanted to get home.

Guys store, I went to Pet Smart instead. :)
In the door by 4 and the rain started. We are in for a storm so I will close this up and wish everyone a safe and dry evening. I know my book will get finished tonight! Something to note before I leave. On my phone, I got a notice of the severe weather warning for storms and strong winds in the Durham area. At the bottom it said, “rain to stop at 4:40pm”. Laugh out loud at that. Well, at 4:42, the rain stopped. Literally stopped! Not for long mind you, it started up 5 minutes later but isn’t that uncanny?
Our Canada flag takes a beating up here
The storm ended by 5 and things brightened up and the winds died down a bit. I guess we needed the rain and it didn't dampen the frogs choir. They are still at it!

Thank you for reading! All comments are welcome.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Too Hopeful? More Baking, Gorgeous Sunset

On Wednesday, Apr.26th I was happy to see blue sky out my westerly bedroom window. It was about 7:30, which surprised me that I slept in so long, so I got up not to miss another minute of a sunny day. Bill and Clemson were up and already settled downstairs. “Your tea is ready” said my sweetie. Nice sounds to wake up to.

The joy for the bright day was short-lived, however, when I saw clouds creeping up from the east and slowly spreading across the sky. I try not to let the weather get to me and usually it doesn’t. How it affects my feelings is when I believe the guessers from the previous day telling me “21C and full sun”. I count on that and then have the letdown when it doesn’t come to fruition. Darn!

I was trying to capture the pink pond weeds

Okay, the bright side is that I am on the right side of this wonderful earth and there was 'no tag on my big toe when I woke up'. One of my father-in-law's recent one-liners.  We will make the best of this day. I told Bill yesterday that I had a couple more recipes to try IF the day turned out to be a dud, so guess what I’ll start with?

I sat down with my tea and noticed the warm 10C for the day’s start up. Hmm, not too bad at all in comparison to the latest overnight temps. It is slowly warming up. I read blog posts from yesterday and left some comments when moved to do so.
These little weeds are so interesting
When I walked outside to the Restroom it was nice to hear the birds and a squawk from Gabe. The Snipe (if that is what it is) was circling as well although I couldn’t see him. Looking up at the bird, his white underbelly is lost in the clouds.
My hostas are starting to pop up, finally!
Yesterday, in the town mail box I had a notice from one of Mom’s life insurance providers to confirm that she still requires their premium so I filled that out (it is a yearly confirmation) and Clemmy and I walked it down to the mail box.
Notice the 2 lard packages - The Morrell brand, bought in the US does not spoil us
with the measurements on the lid. funny how disappointing that is!

I'm so glad I have my island
I love it when the postage is paid like that. I haven’t gotten back into the routine of having stamps on hand yet. I popped the flag up and once again felt the satisfaction that comes with having a mailbox at the end of the lane.
Cherry and butter tarts
I didn't have dates for the butter tarts so added raisins for Bill instead

Corn Muffins
Every once in a while, as I’m inside baking I feel the gusts of wind. I believe they got up to 26 mph and didn’t seem to let up all day. It was nice though to open the door around 1:30 when the temperatures soared and the sun started making brief appearances.
Bill up on the hill with his cargo trailer
Bill was involved with his planes and cargo trailer, there is some major renovating going on out there. I went for a couple of walks down the lane, one with Clemson and one where I thought he was following me but got sidetracked. More mail today and my letter got picked up.
Our energetic pooch taking a break
I made up a batch of Corn Muffins first and fresh out of the oven, took Bill a warm one with butter. They smelled so good and he confirmed the taste was just as good.  Once I cleaned up from those I got into the more time consuming job of making pastry.
And Chippy makes an appearance
Butter Tarts and Cherry Tarts were on the agenda. Most of my prep time took place in the morning so when the sun came out, I asked Bill if we should unplug and take advantage of some free solar power. That would mean not using the convection oven until later this evening. I think he was anxious for the goodies and suggested I continue and finish all the baking.
A path for the kayak one day
The indoor temperature rose to 26C but Bill was still surprised when I changed into shorts. He had been outside and wasn’t quite feeling the same heat I was. By suppertime, I had tried a few more times to get out and enjoy the day. No matter how many times I went out, once to sit in my chair in the sun with my book, I was chased back inside because the wind was so strong.
For dinner, I cooked inside. We had Tilapia fried with lemon & pepper seasoning and a nice salad on the side. The loins were huge and turned out very well. Yummy. Dishes took longer than usual because of all the muffin tins and baking dishes.
The sun is playing games again tonight, coming out full midafternoon, just in time to disappear in the west. Once more Clemson and I walked down the lane way, to burn off supper or maybe prepare for dessert. Hmm.
Jet contrails coming directly from the sun
I hope your day has been a great one. It was great to have you along today whether your weather was conducive to in or out of doors.

Good night
And this evenings sky made up for the late sunshine today
I love reading your comments if you choose to leave one.