Wednesday 27 February 2019

Snowy Owl!!

Today I saw the snowy owl that my son has been telling me that he sees on his drive to his highschool. This is only the second time I have ever seen a snowy owl, up close and personal and it thrills me beyond belief! I absolutely love birds of prey. I get pretty excited just seeing a hawk in a dead tree or on a hydro pole. But a snowy owl?? Bliss.

Getting a picture was a bit difficult. The sky was a whitish grey, it was snowing a bit, and the owl is white, so there wasn't much distinction. Add to that, I was using my phone to take the picture out my vehicle window. I was so happy that the owl did not fly away while I was stopped on the road trying to take its picture.

These pictures were enlarged on my phone. It is a male snowy owl because there are no bars in its colouration. Snowy owls are different from others in that they hunt during daylight hours. They are native to Canada.

I think this fellow had his eyes closed most of the time. It is difficult to see how big he is, but he was impressive. I got some good news today about a little health scare today, and I will take his appearance as a "good omen" (even though I'm not really into omens and things). Do you have owls where you live?

Saturday 23 February 2019

Just finished Kingdom of the Blind (spoiler alert for comments)

O.K., Jeanie, I just finished Louise Penny's latest book, Kingdom of the Blind. The best part of the book was the end, not the actual ending, but the "Acknowledgements" at the end. Is this now really the last Gamache novel?

There were a couple of events at the end of this book that disappointed me. I like characters to remain true and consistent. They are characters, not real people. Real people do sometimes take different directions and make unpredictable choices occasionally. The characters in Penny's novels, well I wanted them to stay who they were. Not my decision, however.

If anyone else has read this book, please feel free to join in on a little impromptu book club here. Bring your own wine.

Thursday 21 February 2019

Back again

My laptop died a bit of a death, so it's been a while since I've written my last post. I've had a look at other people's blogs and made the odd comment here and there. Seventy-five dollars later, my cursor no longer freezes and I no longer get spontaneously booted off wifi. I'm also no longer caught in a loop of windows recovery. I think it was money well spent.

I have nothing exciting to report. I'm just busy with regular ordinary life, daughter is home from university for reading week, son is currently off at a big time basketball tournament, and we ate a variety of leftovers for supper tonight.

I have no idea how people blog on a daily basis, but lord knows I've Pinned lists of blog post ideas you can write about to make your blog as exciting and captivating as possible.

I did my first pulled pork in my Instantpot and it was succulent. The roosters "attacked" husband - he thinks it was due to red pants (don't even ask), but I"m not sure chickens even see in colour.

Several nights ago, I was pleasantly fast asleep, but then wakened up by the sound of...  coyotes! They were so loud I actually looked out the bedroom window, expecting to find them in our front yard. It was such an eerie sound. I rushed downstairs and asked husband, who is more of a night owl than I, if the cats were inside. They were, so we closed the cat door and kept them in. I heard the coyotes two more times that night.

Now, I am going to go out in the dark with my flashlight to turn off the chickens' light and settle in for an episode of Coronation Street, and to keep reading my wonderful Louise Penny book - her latest called Kingdom of the Blind. I am intrigued and thoroughly loving it.

Monday 11 February 2019

Sunday 10 February 2019

Old Houses

Our house is old. Probably not old by England standards, or France standards, or anything other than North American standards, but old here. We don't know exactly when it was built, but researching it is on my "what to do when I retire" list. It is definitely more than 118 years old.

Yes, old homes can be charming. However, I just got done trying to treat mold around the windows and crawling up the outside walls on the upstairs landing. My basement is unfinished and a spider's dream. Some spots in the house have been renovated (by husband) but there are other parts where more insulation is needed, and we really need new eavestroughs, and it's hard to heat because the hot air doesn't flow well into individual rooms, and I'm pretty sure there are wasp nests in the wall behind the upstairs bathroom where they come in between the bricks and the soffits. The list goes on and on.

Sometimes I dream of moving into a newly built, small house with enough closet space in each bedroom and doors that shut properly and a finished basement. Then I remind myself of how much work would need to be done in order to sell this place. Then I have a small cry.

Wednesday 6 February 2019

Four Things About Me

I have borrowed this idea from a couple of other bloggers, so thank you Thickethouse and Granny Sue for the inspiration!

Four Names I Go By:
-Mom (Momster)
-Mrs. Yale

Four Places I've Lived:
-close to Cassel, Ontario (population 39, Saaaalute!) (Hee Haw reference - we didn't have cable growing up)
-London, Ontario
-Antigonish, Nova Scotia
-Mount Forest, Ontario

Four Things I Love to Watch:
-animals - birds at the feeder, cats rolling on the floor, chickens pecking, bunny rabbit on the lawn, cows in the field...
-British murder mysteries
-"Modern Family"
-beautiful scenes in nature - sunsets, rainbows, waves...

Four Places I have Visited:
-Cotswolds, England
-Dominican Republic
-East Coast of Canada (Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick)

Four Things I Love to Eat:
(first of all, only four????)
-Greek chicken souvlaki meal with rice pilaf, Greek salad, tzatziki sauce
-Dairy Queen Smarties Blizzard
-sticky toffee pudding
-butter chicken, naan bread, other items from a really good Indian buffet

Four Favourite Drinks:
-coffee with milk first thing in the morning
-ice cold coke
-red wine
-ice cold beer, preferably Bud Light Lime, on a stinking hot summer afternoon by the pool

Four Favourite Smells:
-freshly cut hay
-lumber (tied with something baking with cinnamon in it) (oh, and lime) (and autumn leaves)

Now you know.

Sunday 3 February 2019

First Sunday in February

I posted on the last Sunday of January, so I might as well post on the first Sunday of February.
Yesterday we watched two basketball games of our son's highschool tournament. It was at his school, so at least we didn't have to travel. They play very well together as a team and won both games.  Yesterday was also groundhog day here. Wiarton Willy predicted an early spring, so take that for what it is, a weather prediction from a 'domesticated' albino rodent. Yesterday was also my brother's birthday. I guessed his age wrong by one year. I'm quite terrible at birthdays. I texted him. As a whole, our family doesn't really do frequent big birthday celebrations (among the cousins, aunts, uncles, etc.). We don't all live within close proximity to each other. Many of the cousins would only see each other at Christmas, maybe Easter, maybe Thanksgiving, or some other special occasion. Myself and my siblings are spread quite far apart in age. I wasn't even at highschool with my sister who is closest to me in age, as we are five years apart (and didn't even attend the same highschool). We seem to carry on separate lives. It is what I am used to. I'm also a terrible phone caller. I really don't even like to talk on the phone. It's just who I am.

Today is much, much more mild than the past week with the polar vortex and skin freezing temperatures. It is actually above freezing! I took the opportunity to do some 'farm work'. I shoveled enough out of the chicken run so I could open the gate a bit more and provide some even ground for my flock. I opened up their little door and out they came, happy with the old grapes and ends of romaine lettuce I laid out for them. I then closed off their door and started a decent clean out. They got fresh water, their various places where they roost were scraped clean, manure was dumped on the compost and over the snow under which is my vegetable garden. Fresh shavings in the nesting box and  a topping up of food, and it's practically the Taj Mahal. However, I was almost dying slogging through the very deep and now heavy, wet snow to the garden and the composter carrying full loads of chicken manure, and then back and forth with full buckets of water. Ahhh, good exercise.

I've been enjoying Ann Cleeves as an author. I had watched the entire Shetland series on Netflix and loved it. Then I was on somebody's blog (sorry, can't remember which one because there are a few that recommend books) and her name came up and I made the connection that she is the author of the Shetland series. I read a couple of those and then picked up another Ann Cleeves only to discover it wasn't a Jimmy Perez mystery (Shetland), but one featuring a detective named Vera. I liked it just as much and then discovered it had been made into a television series. This morning before anyone else was up (as usual), I went looking for it and found I could watch full episodes on You Tube (which I can view on my tv). I've watched one from season one and am eager to work my way through other episodes. They're very good, but sometimes I really have to strain to catch what some of the characters are saying. I do love a mystery series, whether I'm reading it, or watching it.

One last thought... how long do most of you have a properly functioning computer? I am working on my Asus laptop which I bought somewhere around four years ago. It is certainly not top of the line, but it should suffice. Recently, my cursor has been freezing up, so I do what one does, I turn it off and turn it back one again, I get booted off my wifi (which may or may not have to do with the laptop), when I pick it up in an open position and I've just been working on it, it goes into sleep mode... and the list continues. I really, really don't want to buy something new, nor is it in my budget right now. I google how to deal with some of these problems, or I just sigh and put up with them and do a whole lot of  'hard restarts'. Anyone else experience limited life spans of their computers? We also have an old computer with the separate hard drive and monitor and keyboard, etc. that is as slow as molasses and doesn't have all the upgrades so some things aren't compatible with the windows 10 that we were convinced we should install on it. I can't actually load photos into blogger on it. I can make comments, read blogs, etc., but can't write a blog that involves any images or pictures. So, this laptop is the one I use for work things if I'm not on my work computer, and for any other things I wish to do like watch a video, write on my blog, look things up, save items into favourites, etc. I suppose I could take it to someone to have it gone over, but I'm not sure what they even charge these days. Good lord, I've rambled enough about that...

I'm off to get caught up on your blogs now - no doubt with posts of far greater interest! Have a good Sunday.