Open Windows

I made it, the windows are open in April! Yes, it is the last day of April, and yes I am wearing a sweater indoors to keep warm, but all of the windows on the main floor of the house are wide open and the breeze is blowing through. It is the last day April and the universe sent sunny, relatively mild weather so that I could open these windows. Somebody up there likes me.

Other than enjoying sitting in the living room, watching the wandering breeze flutter the curtains, I’ve had a busy day.

I had washed Iris the trailer during the last brief series of days when the sun shone, and so I was keen to get back to the task today. After removing the lichen, black spots remained all over the roof, and required a lot of elbow grease to remove. I opted to use 30 Seconds solution, which I purchased at Canadian Tire. I added it to the sprayer and up the ladder I went, soaking the entire roof with the solution. And work it did, the black spots dissolved, and what little remained came off easily with a small brush. To rinse the roof I had to carry bucket after bucket of cold water up the ladder, to dump it on the roof. This was very tedious, as the outdoor taps has not been turned on for the summer, so a trip up and down the stairs to the kitchen sink was required for each bucketful. I got my exercise for today.

I found it interesting that the 30 Seconds solution splashed onto my pants and my shirt, and where it landed the fabric has corroded into brown spots that are almost transparent. I believe that 30 Seconds is a very strong bleaching agent. Luckily I was wearing my work clothes, which I removed immediately after finishing the job, and soaked in a sink full of cold clear water. Then I hung the wet clothes on the clothesline across the back porch. That is another first today, the first time I’ve hung laundry to dry outside in 2018, and managed it in April to boot.

Before I sprayed the 30 Seconds on the roof I had to temporarily protect the failing patch on the roof. This I did with aluminum duct tape, placing a round piece of paper against the sticky side, so that the paper would protect the patch from the adhesive, and would not be damaged when the tape is removed.

I shared the driveway with a parade of wasps. They would land on the trailer, on my ladder, on the front door, on the door to the garage. I killed every single one I ran into. I hate wasps around the doors and outdoor activity areas. Attila is allergic to their sting, and although I am not allergic, I know what a wasp sting feels like and I am not keen on the experience.

The robins are hopping all over the back yard, and are so much fun to watch. They stare me down if they see me looking at them out of the window, or today as I stood on the back porch. Early mornings I see two to three rabbits nibbling on our lawn (which is really a well manicured weed field). They are very cute, with red fur on their legs and ears, and a patch of red fur on their backs. Their tales are fluffy white, and they look as if they have been sitting on balls of cotton.

There is nothing like a sunny day to bring cheer into a day.

Well, I am off to make dinner, cauliflower, sweet potato, and Coconut Lime Fish. The windows are still open!

Worldly Distractions

Weather

19°C
Date: 4:00 PM EDT Monday 30 April 2018
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.5 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 18.6°C
Dew point: -2.0°C
Humidity: 24%
Wind: NNW 20 gust 41 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)”
Walt Whitman
1819 – 1892

Spectacularly Unspectacular

Easter weekend was very kind to us this year. We decided to stay home and work on the yard and house, because in a few short weeks we won’t be spending our weekends at home, we will be at the Rideau Camp.

On Friday, the day Attila had off work, he raked the entire yard, and trimmed a lot of the dead organic matter from last winter. I removed sheets of plastic that had wintered in bunched up balls under the back deck, hideous! One of them had been sprayed by a Tom Cat, so you can imagine the smell. It was bagged, and along with the yard waste and a large bag of garbage that had hung around all winter, it was loaded into Tank for a trip to the dump.

Friday we got word that Luna and Janus and Imp and Elf and Tink were going to make a flying visit to the area to see all of us before their flight to Amsterdam. They will be living in Amsterdam for three months, the whole family. This news inspired me to undertake spring cleaning. After all, two crawling babies and three active children need a clean space to cavort in. They all arrived late in the afternoon on Sunday, and stayed for an hour or so. Then they headed off to Terra’s house, which is very large, to spend the night.

It was a lovely visit. When Tink asked me to read her a story, it was the perfect opportunity to read to all my Grandbabies one of the books I bought with them in mind. The story we read together is called “The Night You Were Born”, by Nancy Tillman. I love this book because it celebrates every new life, not within the family context, but within the context of the universe, of being a living entity on planet earth. This book welcomes all new human life, not just those who are lucky enough to have a family to welcome them into the world, it is very inclusive. And so there I sat, reading those beautiful words to those bright young souls, that told them the story of how precious they are in the universe. Imp and Tink sat on my left, Elf sat on my right, little Sunny sat on my lap, and Sky listened from the other room, happily ensconced on his Grandpa’s lap. Elf and Tink listened with bright eyes, Imp sometimes gazed off into the distance, as she is known to be introspective at times, Sunny in her frilly dress was intent upon touching the pages, perhaps having a little taste, and Sky could be heard commenting in his own language as his Grandpa held him. How sweet is was when after reading this part of the story,

“So whenever you doubt just how special you are
and wonder who loves you, how much and how far,
listen for geese honking high in the sky.
(They’re singing a song to remember you by.)
Or notice the bears asleep at the zoo.
(It’s because they’ve been dancing all night for you!)
Or drift off to sleep to the sound of the wind.
(Listen closely… it’s whispering your name again!)

we whispered each child’s name. It felt like my brother, my Granny and Grandpa, and my Aunts, were crowded around us and silently whispering their love into those beautiful names.

Monday morning saw Attila off to work, and me driving Tank to visit Terra’s house, for a shared breakfast with my daughters and their families. I enjoyed listening to them talk amongst themselves, and enjoyed playing with the Grandbabies, all of them. The Grandbabies enjoyed an Easter Egg hunt out of doors, filling their Easter Baskets with the treats they found scattered and hidden all over the yard. The morning flew past, and before I knew it, it was time to say goodbye. We will not see Luna, Janus, Imp, Elf, and Tink for quite a while, today they catch their flight to Amsterdam, where they will live for the next three months before returning to Ontario. They are all very excited to be going on such an adventure. Terra and Lares and Sunny and Sky were preparing to attend an Easter Monday family get together at Lares’ uncle’s home.

Today was a day of comparative leisure. I baked Squash Muffins. I washed a load of laundry and hung it outside on the line to dry. I worked on my book. I worked on my crochet project, a cotton cover for my Obus seat. Attila arrived home and we enjoyed a dinner consisting of chicken, potatoes, carrots, and green and yellow beans. Because it is light later into the evening, Attila is out in the yard levelling a flower box that had settled crookedly over the winter. I have cleaned the kitchen, and now written this entry.

We have had a spectacularly unspectacular Easter break.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

10°C
Date: 6:00 PM EDT Tuesday 18 April 2017
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 102.9 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: 10.1°C
Dew point: -3.9°C
Humidity: 37%
Wind: SSE 7 km/h
Visibility: 24 km

Quote

“For never before in story or rhyme
(no even once upon a time)
has the world ever known a you, my friend,
and it never will, not ever again…”
from On The Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman

Welcome Sunny and Sky

An eventful weekend around here. Friday Terra’s water broke, 7 weeks premature, so she drove herself into the hospital. We dropped in on her Friday night, she was in good spirits and feeling fine. The babies were under close surveillance, their heartbeats strong, and they were quite active. The idea was that the babies might wait to be born, so Terra would stay in hospital until they arrived, hopefully in at least three weeks time. Such was not to be. We got a call at 5:30 a.m. this morning from Lares to say that they were on their way, and three hours later Lares called back to say they had been born. He had no details on their health, they hadn’t been assessed yet, but he said they looked fine, their heart beats were strong, no obvious problems. They will be in NICU for some time. The boy I will nickname Sunny, and the girl Sky. Sunny was 3 pounds 3 ounces at birth, and Sky was 3 pounds 8 ounces at birth. It seems that all will be well, but a little complicated for a few months. Terra is doing well. And so their heart’s desire has been granted, and their adventure begins.

On Saturday Attila and I took a day trip to the Rideau Camp. Things were still very dry there, so the complete ban on any kind of burning was in effect. Attila prepared the path to the site for the humanure compost bin, and the area where it will be placed. I hand picked all new growth of brambles from the site. Early in the spring, after I had dug up and burned all the brambles on the site, quite a job, I sowed white clover seed over the entire area. It has taken off and flourished. The bees were really enjoying it. This year the bumble bees are huge, almost an inch long and very fat. They are a lot of fun to watch, as they bumble their way around the site.

We also found hundreds of army worms climbing the trees at the camp site. We spent a few hours killing them, but I am not sure that will deter the other flanks of the army as it descends on our forest.

We ate a lovely picnic lunch at the Rideau Camp, then packed our things and headed out to tour the local area. Attila picked a route that rambled through a half dozen small villages. It was a perfect day for roving, the sun shone brightly, and fluffy clouds lumbered across the sky. We located a hiking park, but did not stop to go for a hike. We also viewed an historic bridge, and found a canoe route rest stop along the Rideau system. We were hoping to find a source of potable water, just a tap with water where one could drink, and fill water jugs. We did not find any public source of drinking water, so we will have to keep looking. I had called the Township office and they knew of no public source of drinking water. It looks as if we may have to get our well working sooner rather than later.

I believe this is a Tiger Beetle, it was crawling on the ground near the camp fire pit, it caught my eye immediately.
Tiger beetle Rideau Camp

Yesterday we awoke to torrential rain and high winds. It was an exciting day. Lares called and asked us if we would drive out to their place and let the dogs out for a while, and feed them, which we did. We timed our visit to see our new Grandbabies so that it did not coincide with other visitors, except Luna who had decided to stay for a few days, which meant we could go into the NICU with Terra and Lares to visit the babies. They are very tiny. Sunny slept the whole time we were visiting, he is a little further behind than his sister, so he needed an oxygen tube in his lungs, and the “blue light” to make things easier on his liver (hyperbilirubinaemia). As Terra spoke to him gently he stirred and gave a little sigh, recognizing her voice. Sky was awake and very active during our visit. She opened her eyes, to have a look around, and when the light was shone on the incubator so that the nurse could perform a task, Sky placed her hands over her eyes. She too responded to Terra’s voice. They are off to a challenging start, but they are all in very good hands, and the prognosis is good.

Terra will be going home in a few days time, and then she will begin to develop the routine of daily visits to her babies in the NICU, a thirty minute drive from her home, for close to two months. Although it will be difficult, she will be totally prepared for their arrival home.

So there we are, Attila and I are the Grandparents of seven Grandchildren. It seems incredible, and yet by the standards of our family history, the number is small indeed.

Worldly Distractions

Weather

16°C
Date: 7:00 AM EDT Friday 3 June 2016
Condition: Mainly Sunny
Pressure: 101.7 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 15.8°C
Dewpoint: 11.6°C
Humidity: 76%
Wind: W 5 km/h
Today
Sunny. Becoming a mix of sun and cloud this afternoon. Wind becoming southwest 20 km/h this afternoon. High 26 except 22 near Lake Ontario. UV index 7 or high.
Tonight
A few clouds. Wind southwest 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low 14.

17C
Date: 5:00 AM EDT Sunday 5 June 2016
Condition: Not observed
Pressure: 100.6 kPa
Tendency: falling
Temperature: 16.7°C
Dewpoint:
13.4°C Humidity: 81%
Wind: ENE 8 km/h
Today Showers with risk of a thunderstorm. Amount 15 to 25 mm. Wind becoming south 20 km/h gusting to 40 late this morning. High 20. UV index 3 or moderate.
Tonight Cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers. Wind south 20 km/h. Low 14.

Quote

“You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance.”
Franklin P. Jones