Sunday 30 October 2022

Do you Bring in Herbs?

 Today was another summer day in October. I’m feeling quite a bit better so was happy to be out helping with some outdoor tasks that still needed doing. Husband and I shifted a big pile of rails and posts. Murphy did his best to be in the way or finding little hidey holes amongst the rails so we had to extricate him before we could pile more on. 

Much was burned in the burn barrel. When son joined to help, the small chainsaw was used to do some trimming and cutting up of limbs that had come down over the past few months. Husband can get a little “Clark Griswold” when he gets a chainsaw in his hands so I was a bit nervous of what was being trimmed next.

I decided to do something that I was meaning to do, then didn’t, and now decided I had the time and the weather was perfect. I have enjoyed being able to pop out in the backyard to my vegetable garden to get snippets of herbs that I planted this spring. I know most of those herbs likely won’t survive the winter, so I dug some out and searched around for pots and crocks I could transplant them into. I just used garden soil. If they survive, then I’ll have fresh basil, rosemary, oregano, chives, thyme, and flat leaf parsley to use through the winter.

I filled up the bird feeders and put out a suet block, too.

Husband did the final (likely) lawn mowing, mulching up the leaves. I often rake up our leaves, but that wasn’t going to happen this year. Again, I freed myself from the “ should” and realized the world will not end if the leaves aren’t raked. The same with my vast amount of perennials that aren’t going to get cut back and piled behind the old apple tree to break down over the next year. 

Do you bring your herbs indoors to use through the winter months? Do you rake or just “leave” them?

Sunday 23 October 2022

Summer in October

Yesterday and today, the temperatures were summer-like. It was such a beautiful day yesterday, husband suggested we take advantage of the weather and go out for one last drive in his convertible which will be taken off road at the end of this month. We "toodled" around north and west and gaped at the trees which are still putting on a magnificent show. 

We ended up at this set of falls. We've been here before, but this time, being as it was late October, there weren't as many people. Many of these spots have become such tourist traps, with people driving for a few hours to spend a weekend, or even a day. It was nice to have the peace and tranquility and watch the water. There were a number of fly fishermen, which was nice in itself. 


Today, I took a couple of pictures of our maple trees which are gently shedding their leaves.

I don't think I could live contentedly in a place where the four seasons are not defined and distinct. I was reflecting to my husband, as we were driving around, that I was very happy that I had time at my grandmother's / uncle's dairy farm as a child because there was always something to do, something to look at, something to help with. I never sat inside and watched tv when there were new calves to look at, or a ride on the tractor to be had. He mentioned how there must have been a real rhythm of the seasons on the farm, and yes, he was right. Maybe that's why seasons are so important to me. Each one has its characteristics that I would miss if I lived elsewhere.

Today I sat on the back porch and watched my bird feeders. The chickadees were flitting around, back and forth between other trees and the feeder. They were content to have more than one chickadee at the feeder at once. Then I witnessed how territorial nuthatches could be. I love nuthatches and how they come down the tree head first, grasping the bark in their little clawed feet. These two nuthatches chased each other from tree to tree and in amongst the branches of the huge blue spruce in which the birdfeeders hang. A junco showed up and fed mostly from the ground. It was the wrong time of the day for the loud bluejays. The squirrels are out in full force. We have mostly black squirrels, bouncing along the grass. I can hear them rustle the leaves as they move. I know they are burying walnuts everywhere. I will find them in the late spring as I dig in my gardens and window boxes. 

I have to come to grips with not being able to clear up my perennial beds this fall. I'm still healing, and it is coming along, but I don't want to push things. I know it will all be waiting for me in the spring when the snow melts, but I always like to be able to cut back my peonies, and any tall perennials, and even do some shrub trimming. I look at the sea of uncontrollable black-eyed Susans and shudder to think of all the seeds that are falling into the soil, to then make more uncontrollable black-eyed Susans. But sometimes you just have to put things on the back burner. 

My husband was taking advantage of the weather today and cleared away some firewood that had been piled close to the chicken run, from a tree that had come down last year. He uncovered some cat nip. Murphy kind of lost his little cat mind and rolled, chewed, rolled, chewed some more. Then he came in for a snack and went back out again, no doubt to do some more rolling. 

It's Sunday night, and for me that means watching the newest episode of "Island of Bryan" (called Renovation Island in the States) and the newest episode of "The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch". To me, Skinwalker Ranch is just the American UFO version of  Oak Island. That series starts up again in November. Husband and I keep joking that THIS will be the year they find the treasure! 

Hope you all enjoyed your weekend and weather was lovely where you are. 

Thursday 20 October 2022

Oct. 20th

 I awoke to snow on the ground this morning. There was intermittent wet snow throughout the day, but it won’t last. We are expecting it to go as high as 20 ( degrees Celsius) this weekend. Gotta love Ontario.

Today husband and I had “ meet and greet” appointments with our new family doctor (if you regularly read my blog, you may recall that I was without a family doctor for a while and this proved to be very difficult when I found out about my breast cancer diagnosis. I spent a lot of time making phone calls and fighting tooth and nail, but now we have one). Anyway, the doctor is about 40 minutes away, but I really like her and was very pleased with today’s chat. After dealing with two nurse practitioners and now this fairly brief interaction with my new doctor, I realize that my previous doctor who is now retired was not the best fit for me. I didn’t realize it at the time because I had nobody with whom to compare, but I found out more, and had more tests with the nurse practitioner in the very short amount of time she covered my care! 

The leaves have been especially beautiful this past week. They are falling pretty steadily with today’s wet snow, but there are still lovely vistas. 

Husband continues to work hard on the “ insulation project”, putting up stud walls in our very old basement, and using various kinds of insulation, as well as improving wiring and heating ducts. This will all help improve the astronomical bills to heat “ this old house”. We received notice that there is a possibility of natural gas coming to our village. That would be fabulous and our heating costs would be even lower. 

I will end with a slightly miraculous picture I took today of the two boys sharing a mat. As Murph (tiger one) grows up, he is becoming less of a royal pain to Scooter ( black and white tailless one). 

There are multiple mats on the kitchen floor, as a lot of dirt gets tracked up from the basement ( currently a dirt floor before Radiant heat and concrete goes down). 

Monday 10 October 2022

New Ann Cleeves

 I finished reading the new Vera mystery by Ann Cleeves. I so enjoy her writing and have devoured her whole Shetland series and her new series as well ( Two Rivers). This Vera one did not disappoint and I did not successfully guess “who done it”, which is a good thing. 

I have a couple more library books to read:

As well, a friend dropped off this book, wanting me to read it:

So I have lots to keep me occupied this month. 

Sunday 9 October 2022

Thanksgiving 2022

 This year my sweet daughter and her boyfriend are taking care of all the Thanksgiving prep, meal, place to gather. I’m very grateful as I wouldn’t be able to do the heavy lifting and motions involved in turkey/stuffing/potatoes etc. 

I’m continuing on my healing journey. At the one week mark I am still sore, swollen, and desperate for a good night’s sleep. Not good having to sleep somewhat propped up on my back and trying to shift on my unaffected side involves great arranging of pillows which then just wakes me up further. Sigh. This too shall pass.

I had a little wander taking pictures today to find a new image for my header photo. Here are the runners-up, some Autumn Joy Sedum and a pretty hydrangea.

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians. I think it’s going to be a nice autumn day with a beautiful Hunter’s moon to finish it off.

Sunday 2 October 2022

This Part's Over With -Sunday, October 2, 2022

 Good morning anyone who is reading this. On Friday, I had my surgery. Husband and I were on the road driving to "the city" by 5:00 a.m. I had to be admitted at 7:30 and my sentinel node biopsy injections were scheduled for 8:30. If you recall, I was beyond scared of this procedure as it was described in bold print on the handout as "a painful procedure" for which they do not provide freezing. 

I purchased and used the numbing gel, and my sweet surgeon actually called me and spoke to me on the phone and prescribed a very mild Ativan to take before the procedure. Long story short, the Ativan barely did anything but the procedure itself was so quick and so simple and due to the numbing gel, would for me have rated about a 2 1/2 out of 10 in terms of pain, so my euphoria at having it done and over with was overwhelming. 

I then had to wait about six hours until my surgery, hanging out on a hospital bed in a ward with other people waiting for their surgeries with a little gap in the curtain where I could see people wheeled out and back in. I played word games and "Hay Day" on my phone, tried to read a bit of a book, tried unsuccessfully to nap, and finally got prepped for surgery (lumpectomy and lymph node biopsy) and off I went. It's a bit of a party inside a sugery room, as I was wheeled in and people were introducing me to various individuals who would be there for my surgery. Who knew there were so many people involved? I actually don't even remember seeing my surgeon, but let's assume she showed up at some point.

Waking up was interesting. I think I was having a hard time coming out of it, as I was told a few times to remember to breath deeply. They assessed my pain and I was given some more pain relief. And then the nausea hit. I had NO IDEA this would be an issue. Oh dear lord people. Take your worst late teens, early twenties hangover and multiply it times 100 and that's how I felt. I couldn't even move. So unfortunately I took a few hours longer to leave the hospital and I was so worried by the time I was able to formulate the thoughts that someone needs to call my husband and tell him what's happening so he isn't worried. 

In the end, a sweet, incredibly patient nurse finally managed to get me into my clothes and put me in a wheelchair and wheeled me down so I could get loaded up in my vehicle and husband drove carefully to my sister's place in the same city and I spent the night there. There was NO WAY I could have been in a moving vehicle for 2 1/2 hours to get home. I managed to sleep there and in the morning, I felt like a human again. A sore human, but not a nauseous human. I ate some crackers and some toast and then we went home. 

So this part of my breast cancer journey is now over. I shall heal over the next few weeks and do my range of motion exercises and enjoy the beautiful colours of autumn and then the next portion of my treatment will begin. But in the meantime, I am grateful for good care and lovely friends and family, as well as my cat, Scooter, who brought me a bird this morning as a get well present.