Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Birthday Wishes, M-I-L Checks In, Asking a Favour, Lots of Critters

The Ridge
We were up and about at 7:30 on Tuesday, Mar. 31st. Once more we were expecting nothing more than a dull forecast for the day but a slight rise in temperature will be a bonus. We didn’t drop below freezing last night, which was nice, and the winds actually diminished by morning. Not completely, but they lessened by some 5 mph.

Still a few traces of snow around our area
We had our tea and coffee. We are getting low on half and half cream for our brews so I’ve started using my whipping cream in my tea and coffee. Ooolala! I love its wholesome richness. First thing on my mind was to contact my sister, Wendy, and wish her a great day. She wasn't answering her phone, so I ended up leaving a message after the second call. What you don’t know about my youngest sibling is that she came into our lives at the wee age of 8 months.

The sun tried this morning to make an appearance
but failed for the most part
My parents fostered children when I was a teen. I fell in love with the babes we looked after until they were adopted into new homes. Wendy was only our 3rd – and our last. She was like a missing digit that we didn’t realize we needed. An adorable little redhead, she brought us joy, the first broken bone in our family of 7, and a great companion for my younger brother, Michael. Wendy is 16+ years my junior and only 5 years between her and her new brother so they became close.

A selfie with Wendy before cel phones
When it was time for Wendy to start kindergarten in our small town, adoption papers had already been put in place for her to join our family. Now she is a grown woman with a beautiful young daughter. I’ve always felt close to her, since as a teen she was occasionally in my charge and even on a couple of dates with me! She has surpassed me in her intelligence and ambitions and I’m very proud to call her my little sister. 

Happy Birthday, Wendy!
I also needed to send a birthday wish to a girlfriend from my past. A prominent bestey from those same teen years in Lucan, ON, we were inseparable as we shrugged our way through high school together. Happy Birthday, Ruth (Rufus!) Moving on with the day, I’ve had a suggestion to post a picture of the dilemma with my sweater neckline. So, for the crocheting gals out there, remember ‘keep it simple’, I’m new to this whole thing.

It has been too long since we've seen each other, Rufus
I hope you don't mind seeing this picture of us with your sweet Papa
Happy Birthday, my friend!
Bill went out to dump tanks, not because they are full but because it is better to keep on top of it than wait until we ‘have’ to do it. Inside, I texted our neighbor to the east and asked a favour. We just need a couple of things from the grocery store to get us through until Saturday when we can get out and shop for ourselves. She obligingly replied and will drop them off after work today. I’ll leave the $ on the table outside for her. It is appreciated very much. 😊

The second hummingbird nest down the laneway
Last years

Do they ever reuse them? It was built quite well
After breakfast of bacon and scrambled eggs, I boiled water and made up a batch of Raspberry Jell-o for desserts. Not wanting to limit our choices, I also made keto custard in Madame IP. These are ingredients that I always have on hand. Always. Bill went down to his Hangar; he found some enjoyment yesterday of what he’s missed over the winter. As long as he is warm enough, I’m happy.

Through the grasses, you can see the other
popular turtle log, soon to be occupied, I hope

The pond is still this morning

Tiger lilies already pushing upward

I walked down the lane even though I knew it was too early for the mail. Stopping in to see Bill on the way back up, he is working away on building a model plane. I’m sure he’ll tell you about it one day. Back inside, I boiled water for a Top Ramen packet of noodle soup. I used to eat these years ago but left them alone after the paleo/keto came into effect. In Quartzsite I bought 2 chicken flavoured ones for a quick lunch or supper.

this is pond overflow to the front field
and here is the corral hill with just a teeny weeny patch of snow left
After making it up, I thought for sure Bill would enjoy it as well so made the second one for him and took it down to the Hangar in a thermos mug. 

I'm sure you've all tried these at one time or another
It was just what we needed on a damp cold afternoon
After I finished that, I undid (rip-itted) what I’d added to the neckline of the sweater and took pictures. Have at it, ladies! The neckline itself is 19” across at the back where ideally, 14” would probably be perfect. The front of the neckline is 12”.  Anyway, I appreciate any and all suggestions.

Please don't look at mistakes LOL
I sat with my book in my comfy chair for most of the afternoon. The book was more interesting right now than another movie would be. Bill indicated that he would be down at the Hangar until closer to 5 so I managed to get a lot of chapters done. The book will be finished tonight! 

Here I go with the critter pictures
The gander surveying while the goose eats

There is quite a difference in size between Ma and Pa
Our ‘grocery exchange’ went as planned but as Maxx Trails eluded to in her blog, it feels shady as if we are of criminal nature. 😊

I left the money on the table for our grocery items
and waved at Tammy from the window
I washed the bread wrapper and the cream carton down with Lysol after removing it from the bag and placed it in the fridge. Then washed my hands after throwing the bag in the garbage. It sure feels weird but a practice we’ll get used to over the next couple of months. 

they are hard to capture but there were four ducks in the pond

and a muskrat (or beaver) swims the length 
and Chippy looks like he's smiling at me!
Welcome back, he says.
For supper tonight, I placed the leftover meatloaf, still in the pot, into Madame IP for steaming. This is essentially a reheat process and it works amazingly well. Let’s share a potato tonight!
Supper was very good
We were eating shortly after 6 and everything was cleaned up by 6:30. I wanted to get my post finished so I could sit and enjoy the evening with Bill and our programs. This was another quiet day in our neighbourhood and that was just fine by me. I hope you can say the same.

Looking up the lane, it looks long from this view
Good night, everyone!
Thanks for your visit to see what we’re up to.

Monday, March 30, 2020

Back to the Disposal Routine, Wet and Cold

The Ridge
On Monday, Mar. 30th we slept until 8 o’clock!! It just felt right, such lazy bones we are getting to be! I was making my tea and when I disposed of my teabag in our kitchen composter, I thought of the garbage. Today, is pick up day! We don’t have enough recycling to worry about but I handed Bill our last tag and he drove the bag down to the roadside before 8:30. We’ve forgotten what time they come but we didn’t want to miss our first pick up. It only happens once every 2 weeks so don't want to miss it.

We've been waiting for today by keeping our full bag in the Bunky
We had our drinks while reading blogs and comments and I chatted back and forth with Donna while working on the Word search from the paper. I gave up on working on the Crossword this morning with 80% of it finished. I’d have to cheat to fill in the rest so moved on. Hunting for scrambled words is good for the mind too and for hand dexterity! 😊 I looked up at 11:40 and the garbage truck was just pulling up. Now we know what time they come. Last summer it was much earlier.

I walked down to put the letter in the mailbox before noon
This morning, we put together and I typed a letter to Manulife for our refund from returning over a month earlier than what we paid for. We’ve never done this before when we’ve returned a couple of weeks early, as we didn’t think it was an option when it was our choice. However, this wasn’t our choice and it should be a nice little sum. We are entitled. I walked it down to the mailbox in between the showers. It was cool at 4C/39F and a bit misty. Still a nice walk. I took my normal pictures of the lane.

Along the fence line down here, I like watching my geraniums in the spring
When I returned, Bill made his second coffee in his thermos and went out to work in the Hangar for half hour. It will be cold out there, with no heater right now, but he wanted to straighten a few things up and then see what he could get into. We will just be having oatmeal for brunch today. I got Madame IP out and started a batch of steel cut oatmeal for myself. I haven’t had it for quite a while and I love it. It will take 10 minutes to cook and 12 minutes to release. Yum.

this mossy railroad tie along our fence caught my camera's eye today
Above, I mentioned my kitchen compost bin and that is something I’m happy to get back to. There is a lot of wet garbage that can be disposed of this way and when you pay for your garbage pickups, it makes sense to minimize where you can. There are some questionable things, like eggshells that I don’t put in every time. We have a lot, as you know from our breakfasts, and unless I crush them really fine, they don’t compost very quickly. I use my judgement on how often they go in the bin.

A little bit of composting helps
So, I have one sleeve done on my sweater and it turned out great. Last night, I was not having an equally good result with the second one. After a couple of attempts and rip outs, I left it until today before I go at it again. Curious now, while waiting for the oatmeal, I tried the wooly mammoth on. Hmm, it fits great but in widening it (which was necessary) I was left to self-judge the neck area. I’ve made it too wide and the seams slip right off my shoulder. Crap! I’m not tearing it out so insteadI will try and do another self-adjustment. Fingers crossed!

The pond water up near the hill is quite high
and it usually doesn't last into summer
Bill went back down to the Hangar after having something to eat and we were both content doing our own thing. I worked on my sweater and put the dvd in of Dances with Wolves. Kevin Costner is a pleasure to watch no matter what part he plays. I haven’t seen this movie for over 20 years and even though very long, I enjoyed it very much. I made myself a cup of Earl Gray and touched base by text to make sure my pilot is doing okay.

The snow on the berm is less and less every day

Then at 4:45 I thought I’d better put the sweater down (sleeves almost done!) and start prepping supper. Meatloaf and veggies tonight. After the meat was prepared and in Madame IP for cooking, I went out for a walk down the laneway. I wasn’t sure if the mail lady stopped today. It’s a cool day with a chilly wind and I had my hoody up the whole way. As it turns out, our flag was up but all it was was another card regarding the Covid virus. Stuff we’ve already seen and already know.

On the way back up the hill, I stopped in to see Bill. It was after 5 and he was working on a plane while watching NCIS. He returned to the Suite after he heard that I wasn’t watching anything up here and could turn it on. The temperature for the rest of the day didn’t get above 3C/37F and as you can tell, that has even dropped since first thing this morning. We know it is supposed to warm up a bit but only by a few degrees over the next few days. We’re waiting for double digits!

Our china bell from Hatch hangs on our cherry tree in full view
 With the IP on its NR, I cooked some broccoli on the stove for me and corn for Bill in the microwave. We were eating shortly after 6 and got dishes out of the way soon after. I’m really stumped on how to decrease the neckline on my sweater so will be pulling up little YouTube clips to help me out. I’ve come so far but it needs to be fixed for sure. I worked on my post to get that out of the way and then went back at it. We have programs on tv to watch so that will keep me calm. 😊

The meatloaf has not let us down yet
Good night from the Ridge
This was definitely an inside day with a couple of short laneway walks. I know Bill has made some progress in the Hangar but I’ve pretty much stuck to the indoors. I hope you’ve found things to do in your home, in your location during this isolation period. Staying healthy is the bottom line for all of us.

Thank you for stopping by. Your comments are always welcome!

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Mixed Bag of Weather, Soup Fairies, Visitors from a Distance

The Ridge - Home
On Sunday, Mar. 29th we were both up around 7. The winds had been howling most of the night, pretty strong. Bill was still up at 11:30 when they blew our satellite dish over. How dare they upset his evening programming! He stood it up again and got better reception after doing so. Maybe it straightened something that had been bent all winter!

About half way through the day,
while sitting inside, I saw blue sky appear
out the window behind me
I didn’t know any of this was going on but did notice lights on downstairs after midnight. It was a warm night, not getting colder than 5C/40F so that was a bonus. We are expecting (and getting) a warm day today, with highs in the mid-teens Celsius. That means almost 60F and that is wonderful here in Ontario for March.

We had our coffee and tea together and after reading some blogs, I sat and worked on my sweater. The rain and winds kept the morning interesting as far as weather is concerned, even a thunder dunder breaking the otherwise silence up here. My crocheting is coming along, front and back are now stitched together and I’m working on sleeves. I’ve not done sleeves for a very long time and never with crochet. It’s quite easy, actually. Even for me!

This bulkiness is my sweater, coming together
We had some visitors drop in, we want to call them Soup Fairies because they left us a nice container of cabbage soup that they both made. How nice of them to share. Virtual hugs were shared from a distance and we all look forward to the time we can make them real ones. The prayer on everyone’s lips is ‘let this not last too long’.

Homemade cabbage soup
compliments of the Soup Fairies

The last of a Red Lobster biscuit mix
 After bacon and eggs for lunch and dishes were done, just as I noticed the sun popping out, another vehicle came up the drive. It was a surprise and nice to see my sister, Donna, and Gerry drive up. Again, from a 10’ ladder length apart, we shared that same kind of hug. They brought the last two pieces of our mail that got caught in the transfer. We chatted about a few things and before they left it was agreed that a new water filter be ordered for their pump.

Because I only took one walk with my sweetie
and didn't have my camera, today's pictures mostly
feature food

As soon as they get that, we will be able to get water from their well again for our fresh water supply. This one is 2 years old and the price is right for it lasting that long. After they left, we debated staying out and about for a bit but after walking down the lane and back, the cool air returned and more rain spatters. We weren’t done with it yet so returned inside. At 3, I made a cup of tea and sat with my project.

 Bill was thirsty so I poured him a Zero Coke and we shared a few crackers with cheese.

Thanks buddies
I wish I could hug you for providing us with a nourishing supper tonight
Good night y'all!
Around 5:30, I mixed up a batch of biscuits for supper as the convection oven preheated. On the stove, I warmed up the soup that our friends left for us. We were eating by 6:30 and it was a delicious meal! I had to text Pat to let her know how much we enjoyed it. After dishes, I sat to work on my blog. We were watching a movie before, during and after supper it finished. There were a few programs that we like to watch on Sunday so our evening was planned.

Have a great evening! Thank you for checking in on us.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Day 8, Dull but Mild, Good Movies

The Ridge - Home
It was almost 7:30 when I got up on Saturday, Mar. 28th. This quarantine business is making a lazy person out of me! I hope I don’t get too used to the late nights and late mornings as eventually, I will have a job to go back to. At least, I’m hoping I do. I haven’t talked to Jamie yet, other than receiving a Welcome Back wish on Facebook but all in due time. I can’t do anything now anyway.

This dullness stuck with us all day
Bill had risen about 45 minutes earlier, had finished his coffee and was sitting at the table reading blogs. Good morning, sweet cheeks! Because of a pending shower, after my tea, I came down in my housecoat for the first time in …….. well, ever! Getting dressed as soon as I get up is just what I do and have always done. Part of that, since retirement, is that I’m up early for a walk and as much as they’re nature walks, I need to be dressed appropriately!

Now, doesn't this look good?
It was tasty, I'll you that!
 After my tea and some blog reading, I had my shower and Bill followed soon after for his. I finished working on the worksheet of our Winter Expenses for the last couple of years, not sure how I missed doing the 2018/19 travels. 

From scribbles in a book of our receipts
to an easy to read printed document
All done now and it is a good representation of our costs and how they vary from year to year. Some things we’ve improved on, most, actually, and others are beyond our control like fuel prices. It is an interesting fact sheet.

The front field slowly starts to dry up
Bill has a hard time cutting this area for part of the spring
Bill and I have come to a conclusion and having the visual influence of our travel mates this and the past winter, we’ve set a new goal for ourselves. Today, as a start, we called Bill’s 4 girls for a nice little chit chat. Times are hard right now for everyone, with some of the kids getting bored with being restricted from their school and sporting activities. We knew that on Saturday they would be home with their family. After nice conversations with all of them, we were content that everyone is doing as well as can be expected and mainly, they are healthy.

Now, the turtle log is ready for spring too
Yesterday, I had a nice texting chat with Bridgette (which isn’t the same) rather than a phone call because she has a cold and texting is easier. No, not virus symptoms. I will call her once she regains a better voice back. I talked to Patrick on our way home from the border and will be sure to get in touch within the week. These are communications we felt that we were missing more this winter than ever before. I guess we are getting sentimental in our aging years.

Pretty robin red breast
Around noon, after a second brew for each of us, I didn’t feel like eggs. Surprise, surprise. I fried bacon for each of us and eggs for Bill. I added a tortilla shell to the bacon grease in the pan and fried that to a crisp, adding grated mozzarella cheese, green onions, the bacon and then lettuce and cottage cheese after it was on my plate. Oh my, this was another delectable delight. I enjoyed it very much.

Looking up towards the Suite from our back field
After dishes, I sat and worked on the crossword puzzle from the local Grey Bruce paper. It started out tough but then things started getting easier. We worked on a few clues together and then I put my boots on with hoody and windbreaker and went for a walk. I try to think of ways to extend the walks without leaving the property but after covering the perimeter, rather than doing it again and again, I returned inside. I’ll go out again later.

More wood for the fire
Here you can see the tangle of vines Bill had to deal with
The trunk is in the middle
It is a mild 48F/8C today with cloudy skies. The sun isn’t far away, we can see it trying to break through as we look out across the landscape. There is a breeze today, somewhere around 8 mph as an average so not too bad. Back inside, I started my blog and then sat with my crocheting. I was making good progress when Bill said that he was going upstairs to watch a movie. That opened the door for me to turn on the tv downstairs and watch the 2 episodes of This is Us that were pre-recorded.

I'll work on this for a couple of days until it's done

I made myself a tea around 4, another Earl Gray. When the programs were done and my tea finished, I dressed for the outdoors and went for another walk. Our thermometer says 50F but it feels cooler than that with the clouds and winds. It still felt good as I walked the lane, down the road to our gate entrance and back up through our front field again. 

Looking down the lane and you can't see much snow now
There is a very cool little old stone house that sits in the farmer’s pasture across the road. Each year, I try to get a better picture of it, you’ve probably seen it. It reminds me of the old buildings of the southwest, although in better condition.

Through the lens, it looked blurry but not so much on here
I came back in and continued with my sweater. By the time I finish, it will be too warm to even wear it. Ha ha, I think my friend, Kim, hinted at that a while ago. She could be right! 😊 We’ve decided on an easy supper tonight. We have part of a tomato that needs to be eaten so I’ll make Bill a toasted sandwich and grill a cheese and onion sandwich up for me. It is optional whether we have salad on the side or not. We’ll see how hungry we are.

I kept trying, getting zoomed in as much as I dared
As it turned out, I had one sandwich and Bill had a couple so no salad was required. Not even sure we need dessert but maybe some chips and dip later. I had found the movie Bourne Identity on and it being a favourite of mine, I watched it. We’ve seen it many times but that doesn’t matter when we love a movie. After dishes, I sat to finish my post. Bill returned to the bedroom, there is a run of his movies on. I was happy that the 2nd in the series, Bourne Supremacy, was on next. Yay, Matt Damon. 

This one was at 48 pixels and a bit of a blur is noticeable
We've never been inside as it isn't our property
I’m feeling a bit upset tonight as it was suggested that I was taking pictures (which you all know I do) of someone without permission. From a distance, I can’t claim that I’ve never taken pictures of someone, but only when it isn't obvious who I’m catching on camera. Today I didn’t even do that. Inanimate objects were my target today, the stone house I’ve mentioned above. I will be even more careful in the future but this has put a bit of a damper on the evening.

A picture looking up at the Suite from the left side of the laneway
There were two ducks in the pond this afternoon but they were very skittish
and I couldn't get a picture
This was a quiet day, we didn’t get much rain at all, not even enough to dampen other than one window on the southeast corner of the Suite. It sure has been dull though. Maybe we’ll get some sun in a week? Ha ha. Bill touched base with our friend, Keith, through texts after supper. Good to hear that he is also doing well in his two weeks of isolation. 

Here, from last April, Clemson was on his leash as we walked the road
And this one after he raced me back up the hill
Gosh how I miss those little races
Good night everyone

Have a nice evening and thank you for popping in.