Thursday, August 30, 2018

2nd last day of August

It seems that the violent storm yesterday blew summer away as there is a definite feeling of fall in the air today. It was cool and cloudy when I took the dogs out for their morning stroll, in fact, I had to wear a sweatshirt. A far cry from the 30C steam bath of yesterday.

September asters are starting to bloom. When we first moved into the property the fields would be a sea of purpleish blue, now the Goldenrod has taken over, pushing out the pretty blue flowers.

The power came back yesterday just as we were heading into the city to have supper at Jo Ellen and Don's place (and to meet the lovely grandson Shawn). Carm rushed around restarting the UPSes and then we were on our way.

We are so relient on power... probably if the electricity was on we would normally have been reading or puttering around. Without power though, the books seemed like the farthest thing from our minds. We were antsy and unsettled. I got some water from the pool, put in a bit of lavender bubble bath and got to work on the dog noseprints marring a few windows. Those washed up well, leaving sparkling windows, and bonus: soft hands! I washed a few other things so as not to waste the precious suds.

Back to the weather... After the treadmill I braved the cold (it was 18C), and dunked into the cold, but warmer than the air, pool. I wonder how many more days I have left of swimming? The nights are getting cold so today might have been the end.

We have been keeping busy with company - Trudie & Leo came for supper one night, Pat was over tonight, and of course we were at Jo Ellen & Don's last night. Whew! No wonder I'm not losing weight :-(

August is that last flicker of fun and heat before everything fades and dies. The final moments of fun before the freeze. In the winter, everything changes.” 
~Rasmenia Massoud

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

lights out... again

propane tank sitting partially filled but unconnected to anything... 22kw generator sitting unconnected to anything... power out. So close and yet so far. No implementation date either.

We were on our way back from shopping in a neighboring town about 30 minutes away when all heck broke loose. The sky turned from a sunny blue to an ominious black. Rain began to spit and then spew from the heavens. The wind buffetted the car. Our phones kept beeping with tornado alerts. Powerlines blew in the wind. We were on a back road with nowhere to stop (that wasn't under a power line), and no shelter so we just kept on driving, no, crawling, the center line almost obliterated by water.

By the time we got home the rain had mostly abated and the wind had died down (were we perhaps in the eye of the storm?). It was with GREAT trepidation that I stepped out of the car to open the gate... let see: metal gate attached to 1000' of metal fence. Lets just say that I was fast, although by then the thunder and lightening was distant, or at least a few miles away.

Got into the garage (the door was strangely open) - no lights. Yup. Power outage. Third in 4 months.

So here we sit. Not literally in the dark. They say it will be back by 4:30 so maybe we'll be able to have a hot supper. Why is it that as soon as the power is out I want a tea? If we had a gas stove I'd be able to fire it up to boil some water.

Luckily in the summer we have a good source of clean water for washing up - it is just steps away to get a bucket of water from the pool. And I always keep bottled water for this very reason.

We haven't been up to much this past week. Carm's been golfing - he's up to 42 rounds so far this year. I've been on the treadmill - it is almost a month and I've only missed 3 days. I've discovered the joys of youtube. Time passes so quickly when watching a video about some inane subject, or a ted talk about something equally inane. Today I managed to walk for 40 minutes, with distraction.

We are still swimming, and perhaps had our last late night swim last night. Tonight is supposed to be colder so the water temp is going to start to plummet. It seems impossible, but summer is almost over. WHAAAA

Friday, August 24, 2018

in denial

It seems like just the other day that I was rhapsodising about my swim after the treadmill. I enjoyed day after day of near delerium as the sensation of cool against hot skin washed over me. Yesterday, not so much. I got as far as sitting on the top step of the ladder and then chickened out. The water was a crisp 69F/21C and I just couldn't convince myself that I'd survive the shock. This morning I finished exercising later in the day (60 min on the treadmill!), so the water had warmed up to 72F... cold, but do-able.

Yes, there is no denying it... summer is coming to a close. Oh, there might be another week of swimming, but with the nights getting colder, realistically, who knows. Today it is 29C, so we can still delude ourselves.

It has been an uneventful week. Company on Saturday night (Jim & Cathey) entertained us for one short evening, but since then it has just been the two of us. Not that this is a bad thing. Carm has golfed a few times, we've been to the grocery store a few times, and once into the city to change my Koodo phone plan to a pre-paid plan which will likely save me $20 or more a month.

I saw the AVON lady and later tried out my new bubble bath for washing cabinet doors and floors - the lavender scent made it nice to work with, and it did a bang-up job on cleaning.

We went to liquidation cause I was looking for another skort like the one I have worn almost everyday this summer. It is a silky black fabric which wears well, and feels like a dream - I wanted one to send to Kirsten in NZ. I hope she will like it as much as I've liked mine. It is seriously almost as comfortable as wearing nothing at all, and much more decent for running out the door with the dogs. I never in a million years thought that I would wear a skirt around the house - I rarely wear one going out - but this is just too comfortable.

We've been eating scads of tomatoes: bacon & tomato sandwiches, tomato salad with black olives & basil, tomato salad with feta. And sopping up all the juices with big crusty buns from DiRienzo's in Little Italy. Oh yeah.... so, so good. If you crush the tomatoes slightly when you are tossing them, it makes a nice tomato juice for dunking.

When Cathey was here last Saturday I planned to serve 'Creamy Italian Lentils' that I make in the instant pot. Cathey has had a pot for 1 1/2 years but was too scared to try it, so I waited till she was here to make the lentils. I think she got her courage with the demo as the next morning I got a phone call from her with a few questions. She was making the lentils herself :-) Once she gets the hang of it she'll wonder what took her so long.

"You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces - just good food from fresh ingredients.” 
~Julia Child

Sunday, August 19, 2018

16 years ago and other random photos

Photo from 16 years ago when we built the retaining wall. It is still standing :-)

Really bad selfie. I have to look at some youtube videos to give me some tips so my head doesn't look like a bowling ball.

Huge frog by the front door.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

mid August's night dream

Mid August and there is a slight change in the air. It isn't so stinking hot and to be honest, I'd acclimitized to the heat - now it doesn't feel hot out until it is in the 30s with an even higher humidex. The smells have changed, it smells like late summer, and the days are shorter and the sun is lower on the horizon, all changes it that portent September's arrival.

It's not like it has been cold though: yesterday was 28C, today cooler at 24C...

Out of 17 days since I started on the treadmill I've only missed 2 days. It is starting to become a routine, although I do have to trick myself to get on some mornings. To help myself succeed, I get dressed into my workout clothes as soon as I get up. After a big drink of water I take the dogs out for their 10 minute walk, and then it is time for coffee. After that, I get my music lined up, then step on the treadmill, sometimes telling myself I only have to do 10 minutes... once I'm on I can usually get myself going for the desired 30 minutes. I do pat myself on the back for a job well done. Then I jump into the pool! Which is heaven and makes the whole energy depleting exercise worthwhile.

I've been infected with some sort of brain worm or disease. Go ahead and laugh... I found an App, (MyCloset), that lets me take photos of my clothes, etc., then I can assign them a category, and from there put them together into outfits. The outfits can be tagged to a calendar and a packing list. It is actually kind of cool.

The last week has been spent taking photos, editing them to remove the background, and importing them into the app. I have only done my better clothes.

Are you laughing yet? The funny thing is that I have never been much of a fashion plate: jeans and tshirts were my staple clothes for my whole entire life. Now that we started cruising I'm paying more attention to what I wear. And shocker of all shocks: I'm even wearing makeup!

We have been busy with friends too. Pat was over for supper on the weekend. It was a beautiful evening for eating outside, and then winding down the night on the swing. Last night we had supper at Jo Ellen and Don's. She had some chicken shwarma 'flown' in for a yummy treat.

"People who love to eat are always the best people.” 
~Julia Child

Friday, August 10, 2018

is he gassy?

Oh my gosh! What a beautiful day. The humidity has disappeared leaving us with crisp air in the mid 20s (C). There is just enough breeze to gently sway the leaves in the trees, but not enough to make them sing. The sky is the most amazing blue, with just the odd fluffy white cloud. Yes, it is heavenly.

I was 1/2 way down the laneway this morning with the dogs when I saw a trailer backing down. I called the dogs away so they didn't get sqashed and then watched Mike expertly back the utility trailer to the edge of the garage. Secured in the back of the flatbed was a giant white capsule... the propane tank needed for step one of prepping our house for a giant generator.

Using his brain as much as his brawn, Mike from MacEwan muscled the heavy tank to its new home.

Last night we had a fun night with Jo Ellen and Don, and little Lady, a teeny tiny poodle. The weather held out for us to have our supper on the back deck which to me adds an extra dimension of delicious to any meal. Doesn't everything always taste better outside?

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

oh what a feeling

There is nothing quite like the feeling of going hard on the treadmill, getting all hot and sweaty in the process, then stripping down and slipping into the refreshing waters of the pool. The water is cool, but not cold, the perfect temperature for floating with my noodle for ages. So relaxing. Seriously, it is almost euphoric.

When I opened the back door I stepped out into an oven, a steam oven. Oh my, it is hot and humid. We've been keeping the house at around 78F, which in the summer we've been having, feels cool.

Our friends Bruce & Tina arrived at our place Monday afternoon. After the echos of hello and how are you's settled we jumped in the pool to escape the 33C heat. We floated around, talking and laughing, until all our fingers and toes were pruned. Late in the afternoon, or was it evening at that point? the rumble of thunder drove us inside. No eating outside last night - rain lashed the air.

We were comfortable inside though and everyone gathered at the island while I got the instant pot and actifry busy with our supper. Italian beef in the instant pot was accompanied by roasted zucchini & red pepper tossed with feta, and our new fav, roasted potatoes with sun-dried tomatoes and arugula. Oh what a feast. We ate and ate until buttons popped.

I can't forget dessert though! Tina brought her most excellent blueberry pie, oh my! Now we were really stuffed, but managed to stay upright (oh to lie flat for a few minutes) until late in the night. Luckily they were sleeping over so there was no commute back to the city for them until this morning.

We had an excellent time!

Carm and I had a brief rest after Bruce & Tina left, and then dragged ourselves outside to prepare for the generator installation. Oh, have I mentioned yet? We have bit the bullet (and it is a BIG bullet), and are having a 'whole house' 20KW automatic generator installed. After the two power outages we had this spring we were concerned about leaving Pat with the house with no generator. This giant unit will take care of her just in case.

Anyway, the side of the garage has been a depot for all sorts of rocks and wood.

Years ago a bit of insanity struck... we were dropping off a horse about 1 1/4 hours from here, and on our way back passed a construction site with all kinds of flat rocks for the taking... we loaded up the horse trailer thinking they'd make a good quasi flagstone path in the garden... once home we decided we needed another load so drove all the way back. As it turns out, they did NOT make a good path and have been in the way ever since. We've moved these ^&*# rocks a million times and today makes a million and one times.

Another time we collected rocks from all over our property, thinking that we were going to make a wall or some such fool thing... we've moved those rocks countless times as well. Finally they ended up along the back of the barn and are now overgrown with shrubs.

"Remember, 'No one's more important than people'! In other words, friendship is the most important thing--not career or housework, or one's fatigue--and it needs to be tended and nurtured.” 
~Julia Child