Thursday 27 April 2023

Got a Lot Done - Apr. 27

 Today the weather shifted a bit and I was happy to be out, cleaning up some more perennial beds. I had a coat on for the first half, then was coatless for the second half. I managed to clean up the rest of the "front" rail fence bed, and then moved on to the two perennial beds leading to the chicken coop in the back yard. 

Here is what is saving my back so far this spring. This is the kneeler / sitter that husband made me for Christmas. I wanted one from Lee Valley (a garden supply store that sells quality, but somewhat expensive items). They were on back order, so he took all of the measurements and set out to build one himself.

Here it is in sitting mode which is the way I use it so far. 

Flip it over, and it is in kneeling mode. You can then push yourself up using the rails at the side. He painted it green because that is the colour the Lee Valley one comes in. He covered it in naugahyde and there is foam underneath. 

Prior to this, I used little plastic stools in my vegetable garden, but the height of this is better for me. (For the uninformed, I have weeded and gardened myself into complete back pain and s.i. joint jamming and then have had to go to physio and take pain pills and be mad at the world for a couple of months more than once, so I'm trying to avoid that).

I've been trying to walk almost every day. It helps with the achiness I get from a prescription I am now on, and it helps me in so many other ways. I have my route through the village, avoiding scary dogs and a scary resident who I suspect suffers with paranoid schizophrenia. His property has many "no trespassing" signs, and he has rigged up mirrors and other reflective surfaces close to his home and doorway. Other aspects of his property and the items scattered about are indicative of a troubled mind. If I was walking with someone else, I would probably walk past his place, but as I'm usually alone, I just avoid it altogether. I do wonder how he manages and if he has someone who actually owns the property and allows him to stay there.

When I went out to take some pictures after supper, Scooter came out with me. He isn't featured in pictures as frequently as Murphy, so here he is, flopped over after scurrying away from me. He does enjoy a belly rub, but only for so long.

These are the two beds that I cleaned up today. Then I burned everything in the burn barrel. You can see Scooter hurrying away, his usual modus operandi.

My forsythia was particularly nice this year. After I manage to clean up all the beds and cut back the shrubs by the pool, it will be edging time and vegetable garden tilling. There's always something.

What about you? Are you busy with Spring chores? Do you have forsythia where you live? 

Monday 17 April 2023

Summer then Winter

 We had about four beautiful warm days. Both husband and I got outside doing various seasonal chores. I was slowly and carefully cleaning up perennial beds by cutting down dried plants, trimming shrubs and dumping the material in the burn barrel. I used the sitting / kneeling seat that husband made me for Christmas and took frequent breaks and managed to avoid any back problems. 

I’ve done some half days of occasional teaching and have a couple of full days coming up this week. I’m enjoying these days. 

I have been dealing with wrapping my brain around the follow up medication I am to be on following my breast cancer. You think you’re done, but you’re not really done. The list of side effects is extensive. Many of them I’m not experiencing thank goodness, but a couple of them I am. Today I tried to call the oncologist’s office and realized that their automated phone system does not work and you are just on a loop of the same recording. Remember the days when you called a number and a person answered? Long gone. Anyway I chose a different option and left a message with someone that I really wasn’t intending to speak to and I let them know that their system wasn’t working. Who knows if I’ll even get a call back. 

On a different note, we are now revisiting winter with cold temperatures, rain and possibly snow but it likely won’t last long. I’m going to go out to pick up a few groceries and am planning on making Italian chop sub sandwiches tonight for supper which I’m sure husband and son will like. You chop together iceberg lettuce, red onion, salami, mortadella, provolone cheese, etc and load it up on a thick submarine bun ( some may call it a hoagie). Something different than my usual rotation of suppers. 

I’m not in a reading mode these days, don’t know why not, but I have two books beside my bed that I’ve renewed from the library because I won’t accept defeat and still think I may end up reading them! On the “ watching “ front, I’m so happy that new episodes of Call the Midwife are on now. And last night, despite our best wishes, they did NOT find the treasure on Oak Island! Ha ha!

Sunday 9 April 2023

The Gathering

 Yesterday, Saturday, I hosted the extended family Easter gathering. It was almost all adults ranging from 69 to 23, with one youngster of 12 years. 

I spent days cleaning, decluttering, and pre- making food so that it wouldn’t be as hectic on the actual day, or that was the theory. 

I roasted a turkey the day before and carved it, arranging light and dark meat on a shallow pan, then drizzled it with some drippings and turkey broth. I wrapped the whole thing in plastic and then foil and kept it in the fridge. I also pre- made a big casserole dish of baked beans because I was also serving a ham and they go well together. As well one guest was vegetarian so the beans qualified for a dish for her. I baked a carrot cake and froze it ahead of time. I also made oven baked stuffing the day before to reheat later. Of all the food, the stuffing was the disappointing one. I think it needed much more flavour and it just wasn’t right, texture wise. 

I reheated the turkey by adding a bit more broth to keep it moist and covering it with foil. I made the ham in a crockpot and it turned out really well. Did you know that if your ham sits above the top level of your crockpot because of the bone, you can just cover it with foil and crimp it down around the edges and it works just fine! I set the lid on top just to weigh it down. I also had mashed potatoes, carrots, green beans, and rolls. 

Family brought appetizers and desserts, with a very nice variety, as well as bottles of wine. We played a fun trivia game, drawing names to put people in teams, for about an hour. It was good for laughs and was something different from what we usually do. 

In total, there were 17 of us. Here’s the thing that I need to remember if I do this again. I spent time dusting and vacuuming and mopping floors in our den and our living room but the only place people gathered was the kitchen! The whole day, into the evening it was all in the kitchen even when the two extensions were put on our harvest table, and the fold out table was brought in and set up and extra chairs were set in the kitchen and some of us were cutting up carrots or finding little bowls for cranberry sauce or mustard, everyone was still crammed into the kitchen! 

Note to self: don’t worry about the other rooms ( apart from the bathrooms) . 

I was happy to be able to do it, considering at different times in this past year I was wondering if I would ever have “normal “ holidays again, or if we would have celebrations with my sister ever again ( she’s great by the way). 

Today I was bone tired. I actually fell asleep on the couch with the tv on this afternoon. 

I hope all of you enjoyed your Easter weekend in whatever form that took for you and yours!