Sunday 29 April 2018

A Day to Stay in and Read

This will be a short, lacklustre post. Not to belabour the point, but our weather decided to be cold and dreary yesterday, followed by snow. After I did a bit of general house keeping yesterday, I decided to head into town to the library. I had looked up "Cozy Mysteries, Gardening" and compiled a list of authors that write such a genre. I was in the mood for some light, easy to get through books that combined a typical murder mystery with the overall theme of gardening. I'm itching to see the grass grow and the flowers to emerge, but nature isn't cooperating.

Unfortunately I found only one of the authors on my list and when I took my pile of books to the check out counter, I was informed I had already read that one. Sigh. So I put it back and got another one instead.

Here's what I grabbed, nothing too high brow or deep thought-inducing.

None of my favourite authors has a book out (available in the library) yet, so I chose these. It was a Rhys Bowen one that I had already read, so I chose this one instead.

I ended up settling in the living room, all comfy, one light behind me, feet up on the ottoman, and finished this one last night.

I liked it enough that I will probably read other books written by Ruth Ware. Apparently she has one called The Woman in Cabin 10. In this book, a writer ends up at a Hen Do (we don't call them that, here they are called Stagettes and not every bride does this) with a friend she has fallen out of touch with. Events lead to her waking up in hospital in rough shape and someone is dead. She has difficulty remembering what happened leading up to the death. There's a bit of a surprise at the end.

As I said, it's light reading. (Obviously if I finished it in half a day). I did enjoy it, though. How do you like my fancy Dollerama reading glasses? I hate that I need reading glasses now. My eyes were the one thing that worked perfectly, but not anymore.

Today is the weekly grocery shop, catching up on some work related work, and then maybe I'll start in on another book.

We have our daughter home with us from university and she's been busy trying to organize all of her "stuff" and move back in to her old room. It's very nice having all four of us back together again. In an effort to use up what I already have, I baked a strawberry, rhubarb pie yesterday that was incredibly good. The rhubarb and strawberries were both frozen, the strawberries from last summer, and the rhubarb from.... 2013!! Still tasted great. Now I only have probably 25 more bags of strawberries, rhubarb, and shredded zucchini to go!

Saturday 21 April 2018

Uhhh, We have a Visitor

Praise be, there IS a sun in the sky! Now don't get too excited because if you plan on being on your porch for more than a few minutes, you'll want a coat, but as I'm sitting here, laptop on my lap (hence the name), there is an actual slightly blinding glare of the sun glinting off the front of my not so clean vehicle coming through the window. I will take ANY small victories I can get.

So, husband had stepped out to the back porch to stand on the part that doesn't have snow on it and just feel some sunlight on his face. I stepped out to be with him. And then we saw this.

Yes, there is actual sad old grass showing up as the snow is melting!! Oh wait... do you see it?

Hang on a moment, here's a different location.

Yes, it's my compost pile in the corner of my vegetable garden. And yes, that's our old very dead Christmas tree parked behind it. It will get incinerated fairly soon. AND... climbing around in my compost pile is... the official skunk of Spring!

Man, it had a great time clawing and poking its way through my semi-frozen compost. It stayed quite a while. In fact, it could very well still be there because I stopped watching to go write this post.

This is an 'oh dear' moment. Oh dear, I hope our idiot cat (who looks a little like a skunk himself) doesn't decide to befriend it. Oh dear, where is it making its little bed at night, under our porch, under the old chicken coop, under the shed? Oh dear, we're going to have to build a front wall to the compost container. And finally, oh dear, does it know how to use a cat door?


They aren't all this charming. 

Tuesday 17 April 2018

April 17th The Aftermath

Yes, we received some weather. It rained, and then the rain froze, and it froze while it was coming down in the form of nasty little ice pellets, and then it snowed and snowed and snowed. On Monday, buses were cancelled to schools. Universities closed. Businesses closed. Much of the world stopped either during the weekend, or after. We did not lose power, but lots of places did.

Here is what my world looks like. I took pictures on my drive home from work.

For those of you who live in more southern / mild climates, this is something I will be happy to not have to keep in my vehicle!!!

I am referring to my trusty long handled ice scraper / snow brush, not my lunch bag. It is hard for me to imagine there are people who possibly don't even own one of these. We have several.

Anywhere there is a little bit of open water, whether it be a river, stream, or some seasonal flooding in a field, the Canada geese have congregated. I took a picture with my phone which didn't really capture it. There were other spots with far more geese. I'm sure there is a scientific adaptation why their little goose feet don't freeze in the water.

It is the robins that I have been feeling sorry for. They have been scittering across frozen solid surfaces, barely able to keep upright in this weekend's wind. They are worm eaters and they can't find any open thawed soil. We have a compost pile in the yard and a bunch of wrinkly grapes were thrown out recently. I looked out the kitchen window to see a robin picking away at them. I'm quite certain grapes are not their first choice of food. I actually filled up the bird feeder with the last of the seed when I got home from work today.

Here's some more evidence of bird activity. I found this in snow on the front porch. Try to image how this image was created.

I think it looks very phoenix -ish.  Here are some other prints very close by. I don't think they all happened simultaneously.

Husband told me that the weather forecast says it will be up to 14 degrees Celsius by Monday which is in six days. It made me laugh and think of the great Rick Mercer bit about seven day forecasts (see above) For anyone in winter climates similar to ours, you will enjoy and be able to relate.

Friday 13 April 2018

Hold on to Your Hats

Here's what's coming our way. Currently it is raining, raining, raining. Husband keeps checking the computer and saying, "We've never had a double warning before!" I told him he's becoming a bit obsessed.

I'm waiting for locusts and pestilence as well. But according to my husband who never tires of saying, "Red sky at night, sailors delight. Red sky in morning, sailors take warning", tells me there will be 10 to 20 mm of freezing rain, wind gusts up to 60 km an hour from the east, and up to 20 cm of snow... potentially power outages and flooding.

We currently have a big bucket of water sitting in each tub and we've gone grocery shopping (on a Friday evening... I NEVER get my groceries on Friday).  This is the man who made sure we had purchased and installed a wood stove before Y2K.  I have big respect for weather, especially blinding snowstorms. I witnessed the aftermath of a tornado when I was 12 years old. I actually like nice rumbly thunder in the distance and watching sheet lightning. But husband, I believe, would be thrilled with some apocalyptic weather incident just for the sheer satisfaction in saying, "I told you!!"

Anyway, we'll see how it all pans out. I have enough food for the next three weeks. But I am kicking myself for not buying cat food (but, hey, it wasn't on sale). Any of my Ontario bloggy friends battening down the hatches?

Thursday 5 April 2018

Well, you know what April can be like...

A couple of days ago, husband and I took our lovely daughter back to University where she is wrapping things up this month. A side trip (in the same city) was arranged to purchase some tires, and since it was a bit after supper time, we asked our daughter if there was a place she would recommend to get some supper. She picked a GREAT place!

Now, you have to keep in mind, that I live in a very rural area of Ontario, an area where generations of families stay put and things don't change that much. We are not in a diverse, or multi-cultural area. There is no Star Bucks, or Costco, or pretty much any other big name, big box, big money anything. So when we get out of the sticks we like to try something different. Daughter recommended an Indian buffet. All of us like Indian food, so we bellied up to the 'bar' so to speak and filled our plates (won't mention how many times hubby went back to fill his plate!). It was just SO GOOD! Tender, flavourful, fresh, aromatic... (can you tell we don't get out much?)  Yup, I took a picture of my food.

It might not look too thrilling, but it was very yummy. I didn't even get the Naan in the picture. That was fresh and wonderful, too.

I have recently mentioned that we had been experiencing a rather mild spell and I was very thankful about that. Well, two days ago that all changed. First came the winds, and then the rain, and then on the way home it became snow the closer we got to where we live. Here is an unsuccessful picture out the windshield of our moving vehicle.

By the time we got home, there was accumulation.

 Here's the back end of husband's car which was parked in our car port. Oh, but wait, the weather continued through the night and into the next day. By the afternoon, a portion of highway was closed due to poor visibility, blowing snow, the whole kit 'n caboodle. My relatively short drive home from work yesterday included two white-outs where I threw on my four-way flashers and hoped for the best. Here was the world this morning:

Two days prior to this, I was looking at grass (not green grass yet, but still grass, and tiny bits of tulip tops emerging, and robins bob bob bobbing along). April is a finicky month, at least here in Ontario. There is more snow in the forecast. There is never any point in washing up your hats and mits and storing away your boots until the month is over.

Now I shall read your blogs to see how wet, windy, and snowy your lives are!

Sunday 1 April 2018

Easter Sunday

It's the Easter weekend, so naturally, there is a religious epic on tv. Husband is currently watching The Ten Commandments. I'm in the same room but am occupying my time eating miniature chocolate eggs, flipping through online pictures of Hollywood's shortest actors, and reading blogs. All very important.

Yesterday, husband picked daughter up from university and we had a supper with mother-in-law (sprung from "the home"), daughter and boyfriend, son and girlfriend. It was nice to have a full table. I relied on my usual big meal of frozen pre-stuffed turkey and various veggies and rolls. Mother-in-law regaled us with her tales of the time span from which she derives all memories these days. Dementia can be "interesting" if it wasn't so dreadful. As she slowly sinks deeper into dementia, her edit button is used less and less, with questionable topics ranging from bodily function to on-the-verge of politically incorrect. The kids and their partners took it all in good stride, but when she got to the story of the peasant woman wet nurse my husband shouted from the next room, "Mother!!" It was to no avail, for once a story is started, it must flow through to completion.

I just looked up and Charlton Heston is currently bowing before the talking burning bush. Personally, I would have freaked out.

The weather took a turn. We awoke to snow on the ground. Not a lot, but snow nonetheless. Blah.