More Rocks….And Stones

Paving stones that is…..

I did get all those rocks sorted.  Sort of by size but mostly by weight.  Those that I could lift with one hand went into one pile, The ones I needed two hands for went into another pile and then there were those that were not liftable…..they were rolled into the last pile.

I pulled out all the big hunks of grass that had started to grow and sprayed everything else with stuff that will supposedly get rid of everything else….we’ll see in a day or two if that works.

Once the weeds and last bit of grass is gone I’ll have to do some raking and leveling then decide what plants I want in there and get some topsoil to get it all planted in.  Most of the plants that I want, based on all the rock garden websites I looked at, need a minimal amount of water and like a lot of sun…..very low maintenance…I hope.

I’ve also got to pick up about 50 small (7.5″ x 3″) paving stones to outline it or create a border around it that will be easy to trim around and define the space.  The whole thing should be around 8′ x 8′ WHEN I’m finished.

This morning I’m off to get my big paving stones (1’x2′) for the walkway.  I know I now have two projects going on but that is just how I work……and it’s not too hot today AND my son and the kids are coming over so they can help me unload them all.  Just how much I’ll manage to get done I don’t know.   I really don’t mind doing all this by myself……I can do it the way I want it done.  The only problem with that is that it takes me twice as long or maybe 10 times longer to do it.  No, there is another problem too…..actually finishing it!  I always think it’s going to be “fun” or give me that sense of accomplishment, which it does when it is finished…..it’s that I always seem to run into a snag of some sort, which kind of takes the wind out of my sails.  That just seems to be inevitable no matter how well I think I’ve planned something out.  I then have to stop and rethink…..and rethink….what I did and have to redo or what I have to do to fix whatever.  I know that is a negative thought even before I’ve started but I know how it usually goes.  It’s a bit of challenge when you’ve only got yourself to discuss the situation with and then mull over the options!!!   When I’m workng outside I have to remember to NOT talk to myself out loud!

Later this afternoon we’re all off to the airport to watch the planes come in…..exciting for us.  The kids really do enjoy it AND they’ll be able to watch Aunties plane come it, which is kind of cool….maybe she’ll see us watching!  She’ll call once she’s collected her bag and we can just whip by the arrival pick up area to get her.

So a busy day but a fun day…..I think!

L.

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Fretting!

That is what I’m doing……I said that I was not ever going to stress over anything again….so “fretting” is what I’m doing instead!

This “mini-vacation” to Calgary is my problem.  I want to go of course and I don’t mind doing the driving trip there with my exSIL but……all those potential “what ifs” is what is “fretting” me out.  I would like to eliminate one of the days and leave on the Wednesday as originally planned…..not a biggie but just thinking of the extra cost for a hotel for one more night.  I know that doesn’t seem like that big of an issue considering the other vacations I go on but……

Today is the day I’m going to sort out my rocks.  The big rocks…..for my rock garden.  I found a good website that gives you play by play directions for putting together a rock garden.  Sorting the rocks by size is the first thing on the list.

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I had hoped to have this done a lot sooner but have just never gotten around to it…..too hot, too busy, back too sore already from something else….procrastination at it’s best!!  But today I’ll start.  I did see a nice birdbath when I was at the landscape place last week that I think that would look cute in my rock garden…..I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here but that is just how my head works……what actually happens is another story!!

Yesterday after getting home to a nice clean house I decided to do nothing!  That is pretty much how my whole week was and thought I would finish it off no differently.  Now I do have to get cracking around here.  Next week should be the start of the kitchen….that too is a week behind schedule!  Oh well…..I could have had the shelf emptied and drawers cleaned out but for some reason without a specific deadline I really have trouble getting stuff done.  Work was good for that….a schedule and a routine, which when retired is not applicable and as much as I enjoy it, is not always a good thing…..but I have no intention of going back to work so I’ve got to really work on getting something going.

My being dressed and ready to go out, if necessary, by 10:30 every day doesn’t always happen.  Not that that is a bad thing except when it doesn’t happen I beat myself up over it later…..I really am my worst enemy when it comes to making up my rules.  I think this must be the living alone thing……yes, my daughter is living here but that’s different!

I keep thinking all this new normal stuff just takes time, but how long I don’t know.  It must eventually come along……..right?

L.

 

Cleaning Lady And Cards

Thank goodness she’s not coming until noon today!  That said, I must say I don’t seem to run around as much in a mini cleaning frenzie before she gets here like I used too…..that must be a good sign!

I picked the granite yesterday….the more expensive piece of course.  It matched perfectly and even though I would have saved a couple hundred bucks with the almost matching piece I know I would have been kicking myself a few months from now.  The worst part of this whole thing is that I had to pay so much for something that I, once upon a time, already had!!!  But I’m not going to dwell on that because it won’t do any good….at all!

After the granite adventure Bev and I went to the casino….for lunch (good choice Bev!!).  We did spend $20 in the slots but we were very good and left as soon as that was gone….had a good 15 or 20 minute run with it though, so got some entertainment for our money.  It would have been really easy to pull out another $20 ….

Dinner with my exSIL was fun.  Her kids want her to move where they are…..she has decided, on her own, not to do that.  Too much stress at this stage of her life.  She has some friends here, likes her Drs, etc. etc. and doesn’t want to start all over or deal with selling her apartment, storing/moving furniture and getting resettled.

My niece (her daughter) got married back in May….just a quick civil ceremony…and is having a bit reception/party on the labour day weekend.  I debated whether to go…should I fly, it would be a nice drive (although by myself so maybe not!).  My daughter is going but can’t get extra time off, so she’ll just fly in on the Friday and out again on Monday.  So….with my exSIL potentially moving there, as was the original plan, I could drive there with her, so she’d have her car then I’d just fly home.  Sounded like a plan.  However with her not moving there now, I thought that would NOT BE THE PLAN.  Well, she has a new plan, that I kind of like…we will drive there anyway, stop for a couple of nights up in the Okanagan wine country, which will nicely break up the long drive to Calgary.  That somehow morphed from leaving on the Thursday, to the Tuesday with an extra day thrown in.  Still sounds OK but start adding up hotels (she doesn’t want to share a room!) this could be a bit of an expensive adventure.  We’d have to leave to come home on the Sunday, with an overnight stopover along the way, because she has to be back Tuesday for Drs appointments.  We’d have two nights in Calgary (hoping to meet up with Bonny for that glass of wine!!).

She is doing quite good but I have a bit of concern that something could just pop up out of the blue, as is not impossible with cancer, before we go….then what?  I’m left scrambling to get plane tickets….on a long weekend $$$$…cancel hotel reservations etc.  It’s a bit of a dilemma for sure.

But today I won’t think too much about it…..looking forward to our card game this afternoon….I think I owe Bev a few quarters this month….and coming home to a nice clean house.

L.

Much Better Day….So Far

Yesterday was an awful day.  Not really awful I guess….my own problem since I kind of made it the day it was!!

I did get a burst of energy after dinner so it was not a total loss of a day.  It just seems important to use my days right.  And by right, I mean doing what I want to do….not because of what I can’t do!  Does that make sense?

I thought I wanted to do nothing, which is what I did for a good part of the day, but then even that got boring!  I read, did my monster Sudoku for a while, played solitaire and not much of anything else.  It was mostly because I just couldn’t force myself to start anything.  A few times I got up and thought I was being ridiculous and really did want to do something, anything but what I was doing.  Then I’d change my mind……that is pretty much how my whole day went until around 7:30 when I got this great burst of energy and did manage to get a few things done around here.  I felt much better by bedtime and was kind of beating myself up for wasting the day.  And in my mind it was a waste because it wasn’t like I was really enjoying what I WAS doing……thank goodness I don’t have too many days like that!!

Today I’m feeling much more “into it”, whatever that might be.  I also got a really good nights sleep which I think makes the world of a difference in how you manage the next day….that 4:30AM alarm really did me.

I am heading to the granite place this morning to compare the slabs….Bev is coming along for the ride and lunch.  My exSIL is coming over tonight or later this afternoon, after her radiation treatment.  She’s in a bit of a mess right now.  Feeling much better and getting some of her strength back….or as much as you can get back when you weigh about 80lbs!  Her kids (my niceces)  want her to move to Alberta, so she’ll be close to them.  Part of her wants to do this but part of her is so stressed about it all too.  It means selling her apartment, most of her stuff which is a lot to think about when you’re also dealing with serious health issues.  We’ll talk about it tonight…..I can’t make the decision for her of course….that would be a family nightmare waiting to happen…..but at least she can get everything off her chest that she’s been thinking and worrying about…..I can listen but that’s about it.  I do feel bad for her…..she really has no one else to use as a sounding board and I know what it’s like NOW to have to make decisions on my own.

Grass and plants have been watered, kitty litter box cleaned,  recycling emptied, Roomba is on doing it’s thing, bed made, counter cleaned off, cats medicated…..and a few other odds and ends.  Definitely a much better day……

L.

 

Jealous or Envious….

My friend/neighbors are up in the Okanagan for a few days….wine tasting, touring, bike riding….maybe even getting in a game of golf!!  She’s been posting pics on FB….I like looking at them of course but then starting wishing that I WE could be doing stuff like that too……I’m jealous!!

This is the stuff I really do miss a lot.  I’m not sure that we would have done something like this but just the fact that I can’t, or won’t, do it now really bugs me. Not a DIY type getaway.  I want to do this too but with who?

I could try and plan something with friends….most of us are retired now so have time to do it but that’s not the same thing.  It’s very hard to explain.  It almost depresses me a little.  I get over it soon enough but I don’t like thinking about it…..it’s one of those things that you can’t change, so no point in dwelling on it….it is what it is!! Move on, make the best of whatever yada, yada, yada…….

Oh well!

I’m not sure exactly what I’m going to do today.  Not terribly in the mood to do anything (still thinking about what I can’t do…a little bit of a pity party day maybe?).  The granite place got back to me with a quote…..not cheap!  A little over what other places quoted me for “almost” the same stuff and since this is the exact same stuff I guess I’m going to have to bite the bullet and just go with it.  I know I’d be sorry if I didn’t and, at least today, I don’t need anything else to make feel even more sorry for myself!!  There were two different slabs of granite that I had to chose from….one was a touch lighter, the other almost a perfect match…which is the one that is a couple hundred bucks more.  I think I’ll go there this afternoon with my piece and ask them to see the slab that my counter will be taken from.  The ones in the showroom matched almost exactly but then when I went to look at that slab it was a not quite the same….so today I’ll check out the slab of “Imperial brown” which is the one I want…..I want to make sure it’s right!

I haven’t heard from Justin…..so can’t plan too much until I know when he’s going to get started on this kitchen.  I can certainly start emptying the shelving…..which I think I’ll get going on this afternoon with a nice glass of wine to help me along!

I’ve also got to figure out exactly what I need for that damn walkway….I was so sure it was going to be a simple little project.  It’s just the digging out of the strip where the pavers are going that is putting me off a little bit right now.  I don’t want to complain about the sun and heat but that is the side of the house that gets it all day, so not too anxious to get out there at the moment.  It’s one of those things that I should start first thing in the morning before it gets too hot….if not today, then tomorrow that can be my plan!!  And I do feel so much better when I’ve accomplished something!

L.

 

 

Up Since The Crack Of Dawn!

Really, it was before dawn!!  Was up at 4:30 AM to get my daughter to the airport for her 8AM flight.  She’s off for a few days to visit a friend in Alberta…..her bestie since high school.  Nowadays  thanks to facebook, facetime, texting and live messenger they’ve had no problem keeping in touch on a regular basis.  Both have visited each other many times over the years….although a little more difficult for her friend to get away now that she has FOUR kids!!  They have such a good time together…..and like Bev and me….can and do talk about everything and anything….good, bad and/or ugly!

I’m off to my brothers for another marathon picture day.  I hope I don’t fall asleep…that’s how exciting my pictures really are!  We’re starting even earlier today because I really don’t think I’ll make it much past dinner time tonight….I’m already tired and I haven’t even got started yet.  He’s making brunch…..eggs bennie so I can’t wait to get over there and enjoy it.

Still have not heard from my kitchen guy….hopefully today.  Although I’m not looking forward to emptying that shelving and all my drawers.  I could have gotten started on it yesterday but I don’t particularly want all this stuff hanging around on my table, or wherever else I can find to put it all, for days if its not necessary.  Also have not gotten my quote from the granite people….she did say Tuesday or Wednesday but I will follow up if I don’t get an email by the end of today…..I may have to go back into search mode…..

Yesterday we went for a nice 5 km walk along one of the dykes.  The weather was perfect, not too hot with even a teeny bit of cloud cover.  It was great…we seen osprey in their nests with babies, eagles, ducks, herons, swans…birders, kayakers, boaters and even a bear!!  We stopped for lunch (2+ hours….) at a golf coarse that is nestled up against the mountain and a fantastic view across the valley to more mountains….will definitely try to get a game in there one of these days.

I left the house at 10AM and got home at 3PM….needless to say I was not into doing much of anything at that point.  I poured myself a nice glass of rose and spent the rest of the afternoon on the deck with my monster Sudoku puzzle.   I was still recovering from being busy all weekend!  Usually those long walks give me more energy…not so yesterday.  We did talk a little more about trip planning for next year and about all we decided was that we need to get together and pick a location and then go from there.

Tomorrow I have to get back to some of my outside jobs.  That walkway is my priority……

L.

Hanging Basket Update

How boring is that?

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But it’s very pretty now that we’re finally seeing some sun.  It’s been hot enough the last couple of days that I’ve had to water it twice at day!!  I love it 🙂

Going for a walk this morning….it will be a long one and a fast one!  R and B both have long legs and really move at quite a clip.  I really have to hoof it to keep up with them but this is all good for my thighs…..I think.

Had a great dinner last night with Bev’s family.  Baby Eleanor is adorable.  I almost didn’t have enough food!  That is very unusual for me.  The salmon was a hit….a big piece from the one my son caught….and it was not overcooked, which is what often happens when I cook it.  I took quite a chance really but all worked out.  The beer can chicken was a hit….one little lonely drumstick left.

Just for Bev…..I made dessert, which was a bit of a disaster but it tasted good.  The shortcake crust was so hard it was almost impossible to cut through it.  Ended up scooping the topping and just breaking up the bottom as best as possible.  It looked a bit like a dogs breakfast but did taste good!  She’s used to my cooking experiments…..she’s been my taste tester quite often.

I think the best part of it was the whipped cream, which I whipped by hand in my dandy copper bowl.  IMG_0445I love this bowl and made a special trip to a cook shop in Paris to get it!  How fancy is that?  Chilling it and the cream makes it quicker and easier to do it by hand as opposed to getting the mixer out.  I carted this bowl home in my carry-on duffel bag….filled with stuff to maximize the space.  Who knows that they thought when I was going through security and customs….lol.  This shop in Paris is very famous, apparently, and it is amazing.  If I’d had a zillion dollars and a ton more room I could have gone crazy in there.  http://eshop.e-dehillerin.fr/  I can’t get the English version to come up but just looking at the pictures of what they have to offer is exciting!!  They “assign” you a salesperson….who can be a little pushy but stick to your guns or you’ll go broke!!  After I’d picked my bowl…and whisk….I told him I just wanted to browse….he left me alone for the most part after that.  I love this store and was one of the highlights of that trip.

Those were the days….I love Paris (all thanks to Ken insisting that we make that a stop on our trip back in 2006) and hope I can get back there one of these days.  Maybe next year depending on where our group ends up deciding to go….yesterday one of the girls sent a few links to places to rent in Greece!!!  We’re all over the map at this point but it’s still early…..maybe we’ll talk more about it today.  So far there are at least two couples for sure….and me.  Two more are still on the fence at this point.  I think we’re good with this until October, then we do have to start making some serious decisions like, where and narrowing down some dates which so far are anywhere from May 1 to June 30ish.

L.

 

Happy Birthday Bev!

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The best friend a girl could ever have…..really and truly!  I love you dearly and enjoy all the time we spend together.  So kind, so thoughtful and fun!  We’ve been friends for over 30 years….all through the good, the bad and the ugly!

We can bitch and complain, be happy, be sad, laugh and chat about anything and everything…..play cards and swear with the best of the truck drivers, you name it, we can do it…..and we still have lots more to do!

Bev’s kids and brand new baby granddaughter are coming for dinner.  I can’t wait to see baby Eleanor.

I think the weather will be perfect too…..not too hot but nice and sunny and warm.  We’re starting a little earlier than usual because it’s one of Eleanor’s first social events…..need to keep it simple, quiet and quick.  It’s just going to be us, Bev, her 2 daughters and spouses, Linds and me……none of my rambunctious crowd today….they’d just be a little too much for the new parents I think.

Yesterday my son and grandkids were here all day.  We had lots of fun.  They all helped with some of the digging for my walkway…..it was so dry and dusty everyone was covered in the thin layer of dirt and grit.  I tried a “crockpot” dinner, which was only OK.  Lazy cabbage rolls….at my son’s request.  It was good but missing something that we just couldn’t pinpoint.  But certainly a quick and easy way to prepare a tasty and filling meal…..was never bit on slowcooker type meals but might have to think about it a little more, especially come winter.

Today we’re having a hunk of the salmon my son caught on his fishing trip along with a beer can chicken on the BBQ and just a couple of different salads.  Dessert may or may not be a strawberry/blueberry shortcake…seen I forgot to buy the shortcake!!  If I can find a quick easy recipe for the shortcake crust, I may, time permitting whip one up.  My mother-in-law made the best ever and I know I have the recipe lurking around here somewhere.  If not, then I have lots of ice cream which I’ll top with the fruit and whipping cream…

L.

Granite Success-ish!

Although, there were a few touch and go moments where I thought I was going to have to replace all of it!!  I’m still not quite out of the woods yet…..we’ll see when I get the quote.  The granite place, where we bought the stuff we I have, has been taken over by another company.  They couldn’t find my piece….fair enough, it has been 4 years!!  And they mostly deal in silastone and quartz….argh.  He was pretty sure my granite had been discontinued!!!

I started to think about my options……the first was to have a completely different kind of counter top on that one new piece that I’m adding.  It doesn’t touch the other counters so that was a possibility but what that top was going to be was a design dilemma for me!  The second, of course, was to replace ALL of the existing granite, which I really like and don’t want to replace!!  It wouldn’t have gone to waste because I could always put it in the bathroom and probably have enough leftover to do the counter in the laundry room too!

After traipsing through a half dozen back lots of other granite places looking for the same granite or something that was close….this included climbing over pallets, broken bits of granite and a couple of places where some of those old slabs were almost completely covered in blackberry vines and brambles (in my NEW sandals…..what was I thinking!) I’d pretty well given up.

One last stop on the way home and lo and behold…..there it was!  Not discontinued at all….a new name, which is apparently common with granite.  Mine is Aymore Brown, it’s now called Imperial Brown….still from Brazil so not sure why the name change.  Of course I have to now pay for this new piece, which isn’t big, only 44″x19″, instead of just the finishing of it.  I can only hope it doesn’t cost a small fortune.  When I’d found pieces that were relatively close to mine at the other places the rough estimates that I’d gotten were anywhere from $200 – 500 for a piece that size.  My fingers are crossed this place quotes me something within that range or else what I don’t know (options above may still come back into play!).

Why we did not just keep that leftover piece from our slab here I’ll never know….it’s not like it would have rotted and would have, at the time, fit in nicely with all the other crap and junk we kept under the deck.  Oh well….live and learn again!  I did beat myself up over that a couple of times during the day but it was a waste of time and stress…..one of those it is what it is things.  Absolutely nothing I could do about it now.

The kids came over later…..DIL brought dinner again!  Lots of fun after dinner watering the grass and plants.  The little ones loved the “baby” grass and were pretty careful about not walking/running all over it.

They’re coming over today too because Mom is working, so Dad, and them, can help prepping the area for the walkway beside my garage.  It’s a nice day, not too hot, so a good day to get this done, especially when I have helpers!

L.

Grass Seed For Dummies!

Yes, they actually do make this.

Over the last year, with all the garage construction garbage, I had to reseed a lot of my backyard.   I’d done the raking, seeding, raking again, watering and watching….with some success but not what I’d hope for….that beautiful, thick, dark green grass.  Mine is more like the guy that is going bald with a few wispy bits here and there.

I found this stuff…

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Sprinkled it all over the place….or everywhere there was a bare patch and after having the new fence put in that side of the patio had taken quite a beating.  After raking out all the dried up grass, bits of wood, rocks and whatever else was lurking, I sprinkled this stuff and watered it as directed.   I know with the other regular grass seed I’d probably over watered…ie drowned…most of the seeds but I figured it needed all that water because it was sooooo hot last summer (a distant memory this year!!).  This stuff is great….good for shade or sun and you know when to water it because the mulch part changes back to that dull light brown colour….no more guessing and assuming that is just needs water.  After less than a week I’m starting to see some new grass sprouting up in all the places I put some.  This is good!!  One small thing though in the “instructions”….even though good for shade, it does say that for best results the area being seeded should get at least 4 hours of sun daily….hmmmm.

Small things but hey…..

Had a great day golfing yesterday.  I won’t complain about how hot it was….just thankful that there was a nice breeze that came up every now and again.  Neither of us are any good at it so we gave up keeping score after the 2nd hole.  And because it wasn’t terribly busy, on a couple of the holes we shot two balls….especially when the first one ended up in the bushes or only two feet away from where it started!  A quick stop on the way home for a refreshing sangria made for a fun afternoon.

I was in the door just after 5 and had dinner ready to go by 6…..Bev was coming to help eat all the food I’d bought for the day before when my ex-SIL had to cancel.

A perfect day really…..great weather, good friends and rose wine…..could finally bring out the pink!

Today I’m off to the granite place to see if they still have that chunk that was leftover from the slab we had to buy 4 years ago for the counters…..I didn’t want a seam so had to go big!  Ken told him at the time that we were planning more renos and would need that hunk…..he said no problem holding it even if it took a couple of years!!  I guess I’ll find out today.  If not I hope he’ll be able to get another piece of the same stuff….probably $$’s but not much choice.  I still have the bill with the name of the granite and big chunk of it that we used when trying to find backsplash…..my fingers are crossed!!  Not sure what I’ll do if he doesn’t have our piece or can’t get the same stuff….at least that counter isn’t right next to one of the existing ones.  I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it….if I come to it!!

Not so sunny this morning….thunder rumbling off in the distance and a few drops of rain.  It’s supposed to clear up, which it’s already showing signs of doing.  Depending on the weather and how motivated I am, after the granite shopping, I may start some of the  digging at the side of the garage for my paving stone (1’x2′) walkway.  I really need to get this done so it is at the top of my outdoor “to do” list.  The addition can’t be painted until I get that walkway in…..every time it rains it splashes dirt and mud on the siding…..and I want that done before fall or definitely winter.

L.