Thursday, 15 April 2021

☂Spring Break – caregiving week 27 Tuesday! ⛈

They slept in a bit. Isabelle had brekkie out back. Jos out front!

Isabelle and I tried to install the window blind Monday.  I think it is 1/4" too wide, but I worked at it. We nearly did it, but I got frustrated and said we should take a rest. I whittled away at it over the afternoon. It's too bright during some seasons, and cold in winter, when guests have the door closed. It's supposed to be a good blind. Isabelle and I finished it up Tuesday. 

Then she did some of her diamond dotz.

Next project, the dryer vent. Sadly, the drilled holes are too close together. I will borrow Caitlin's cement drill and use some of her screws.

Next, we took the Christmas lights off of the water fountain.

Izzy and I put the pillows out. I have a problem. I cannot find the bolts that hold the awning to the top of the bench swing.

I mixed up a mess of beans. It wasn't bad: shredded carrots, Patak's curry sauce, minced onion, a can of diced tomatoes. I froze the rest for another meal!

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

☂Spring Break – caregiving week 27! ⛈

 Monday's Activities

We were up at 6:30 a.m., having tucked girls in at 9:15 last night, we toodled off to bed ourselves. By 8:00 a.m., they arose. They had Plan A. They've a video to finish, then Jos offered to help with chores. I explained that since it is raining, and all the chores are outside, they were off the hook! Plan B, they'd finish the video, after breakfast, and then do some painting. I'd bought some on sale items from Michaels. 

I watched my morning show. They spoke of burnout. I get it. The province has announced that there won't be physical school after our week-long break. I'm really glad the girls have had some consistency at home and with us for virtual school. The poor parents. Too many don't have sick leave, some don't have caregiving options, either. Many low-income workers are at their wit's end.

Isabelle hustled downstairs to fetch her waffles from the very full, small chest freezer. She couldn't find them, back upstairs she came. I went down, and we lifted out one basket, and searched, lifted out the second basket to search under it, and nothing. Glancing at the basket we'd lifted out, there was the tell-tale logo of EGGO! Voila. We laughed so hard.

Breakfast done, Jos entered the living room, while Grampa was finishing his curling game. 

        "You gotta keep your head on your shoulders, Grampa!"

        "I appreciate that, very much!"

She headed downstairs to do her teeth – so Momma won't rip his head off! It's been a great joke. No nagging involved. 


I found the tablecloth in the basement, once I remembered what I was looking for, and set it up on the bench in the Muskoka Room. Cinnamon, wisely staying indoors, was in there sleeping in the chair in the fresh air. The weather didn't look very good. Painting ensued. It was chilly in the Muskoka Room. They ran downstairs for sweaters.

Isabelle and I tackled the blind. I'd forgotten we had an indoor chore. It took us two days.

The rain stopped and Josephine asked for an outdoor chore. I suggested they take the white tree down. The tree is screwed into the bottom of the barrel.

Jos was barefoot, so Isabelle was in charge of taking the arms of the tree back to the shed! Then, Jos used the drill to remove the screws, Izzy ran the base down to the shed.

I rolled the barrel away, and we discovered an old nest in the upside down barrel. 

After chores they rested wrestled! 

Bird watching has been fun. A pair of cowbirds!


It's an unusual direction for the storm, and likely to rain most of the day. Usually our weather comes from west to east. It's such a shame for our spring break. 

Lunch for the girls was leftover pot pie (below, left). It wasn't bad. Isabelle paid homage to me mére, "She makes the best crusts, but this is pretty good!" There weren't any veggie leftovers, however. They were a hit, as well.

Iz and Jos were downstairs on their computers.  There is a fire going on this damp day. Isabelle came running upstairs, having paused their video, "I think there is a wasp!"

        "OK, grab the bug collector." 

It was a big wasp, and she ushered it outdoors, while I held the door for her. You'll recall the bee incident last year, where she got stung. [The Wasp Saga Part 2] She was quite brave.

Jos made guacamole. We didn't have cumin, and she didn't need a recipe, she improvised. Curry powder, minced garlic and lemon juice. Momma said that it's funny that they didn't used to like it. Now they make it. 

We put an avocado pit in a glass. Another is for seeds. 

Both girls helped tear down the white Christmas tree. Jos had bare feet. It's 11 C. outdoors! It was shower night!  

Wood in, fire on, and movie and snack time. They had a bowl of the guacamole, with a bowl of salsa, and whole wheat scoops. The lasagna took a long time, I'm glad I had them snack! It was another FAMILY SIZE order mistake. Happily, they had leftovers the next day for lunch!

The crows  have been busy, and I'm sure they are thinking of building a nest in the pine tree.

This dude on the red motorcycle  is driving too fast. He does this all the time.  I wanted to capture him on video. 

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

⛈☂Spring Break!

It is finally here. We can have some fun with the girls. No pressure, no Google Meets, no teachers. OK, except me! We're hoping to have a relaxing break with the girls. It's been a time. 


Sunday I did some chores.

We've a yellow jacket problem. I've been digging down to Timbuktu and can't find the nest. I've tried to drown them, put salt on it, sprayed a bit of Raid to protect myself. You have to dig in the dusk, when they go back into the nest, or in the morning when it is cold. It was 5 C. Sunday, I started digging, again.

Teeny tiny holes indicate the entrance.

yellow jackets from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

I went walkies with Cinnamon, Sunday, trying to see if there was a crow's nest. Nutmeg followed along.

It wasn't a quiet day, by far. This kid, on a red bike🎥, I could hear coming from a km away. Another dude went by🎥.  The crows, however, are really active. I've not heard them this much in our years here. I took the cats walkies in the back 400, just after I saw one up in the tree with a twig in its mouth. I warned the girls that they might be putting a nest in their favourite white pine climbing tree!

My favourite critter is the porcupine Apr 10 . The girls named him Henry. 

World Curling 2021

Our Grampa stayed home Sunday afternoon, since the curling was a bit of a mess with the COVID–19 scare. Prior to leaving the tournament, as well as during the tournament, all players were tested before they were allowed to fly home. I figured out that the US team's player, Chris Plys, along with 3 other men on other teams had a positive test for COVID–19 from CBC's That Curling Show, with Devin Heroux. They retested them, and they came out negative. Plys had had a vaccination. The team's National Olympic Committee fought with or lobbied Alberta Health Service, and won. They were allowed to play with masks on. The masks were pretty badly fitted. HOWEVER, TSN chose to send their film crew back to the hotel.  I figured out where to watch the delayed game on YouTube. Grampa watched the last two ends on our Chromecast (a gift from the kids at Christmas), which puts the video on the TV, while I fetched the girls!

Hostage Exchange

On the way into our hostage exchange, there were 3 OPP cars, lights flashing🎥.  It looked domestic, as I saw a woman on her phone coming from behind the house. 

We did the hostage exchange. There was another family doing the exact same thing. Then, a third family, obviously the father dropping kids off for the mother. Oh, I remember those days of single parenting!

By 5:15 Sunday night: two girls are emptying the dishwasher; they’ve chosen movies at the store (Grampa took them while I prepared dinner); roasted carrots and broccoli, and pot pie in the oven! All is well with our world.

Caitlin texted, and they were happily munching on a salad niçoise: Kalamata olives, capers, tuna, anchovies!

Monday, 12 April 2021

Spring, flowers, frogpond, goldfish pond

We're greening up! The girls are here for April break. Izzy promised to help me take the Christmas tree down. Soon, the bird feeders will have to go. 

 The daffodils Isabelle and I planted are beginning to grow. Deer don't like them! I put the trailcam out here. It's in the middle of the photo, to the left of the laundry tree.

This is phoebe, flying from the top of the camera! I thought it a hoot. They are choosing their nesting site, but still undecided.

OK, to my winding tale... Jebbs Creek is high and flowing.


Permit me to vent, or skip this altogether! I took JB in for an eye appointment. He's getting new reading glasses, just like the old ones. I sat and read in the car. It was a lovely day, warm, my car windows were open. A truck pulled up behind me. Suddenly, I could smell cigarette smoke, though. He kept his cigarette outside of the truck and the breeze wafted the smell towards me. I thought I had to move up 3 parking spots and then took a photo. With COVID, it could waft, as well, being an airborne virus. 

Boats in their coats, likely until the May 24 weekend.

Boats in their coats at the marina.

I'm wondering what this is all about. They've cleared this land along highway 15. This was from my trip to the dentist Thursday. Do you know anything about it, Anvilcloud?!

On our way into town, the 😷Tay River Health Centre is coming along. I've been taking photos as the building grows up. They are landscaping, and working on the outside.


I often miss the forsythia, being behind a tree in the front yard. It's not in full bloom, but I bet I forget to check it! 

Cinnamon has been a hoot. He was down at the pond frogging. It's all melted, and teeming with life.

We spotted a blood sucker,  leech in pond . Nothing like the one I found in 2015: when have you seen a leech? That one was huge and swimming around my ankles when I was cleaning out pond debris.

Cinnamon caught a frog, and let it go. Then gave his paws a good wash. Cinnamon frogging

I started up the goldfish pond pump. Cinnamon approved. he loves wandering around the pond, chasing the frogs into the water, where they belong. I think I might put them in this week. 

It was a good winter for the goldfish pond. There were only two dead frogs after it melted. By December, I'd moved 19 frogs to the frogpond. [More froggies in the goldfish pond]

I found these floating in the goldfish pond. They didn't make it through the winter. I can see larvae in the  water, though. They survived the freeze-thaw spring. Giant Water Scavenger Beetle [Hydrophilus triangularis]   They primarily eat dead things. 

Critters in the wetland

JB went out for walkies. He came back. Apparently, Nutmeg had gone with him to the point, a narrow piece of land in the middle of the wetland. It's a lovely spot. Part way there, Cinnamon was sitting on a log jutting out into the water, with his tail in the water. JB paid a bit more attention, and spotted something. He hustled back up to the house to tell me. Cinn stayed put. He thought they were otters. I grabbed the videocamera, put the zoom lens on the tripod and went down. I thought he'd said the frogpond, for some reason. The zoom wasn't much help. I should have known. They are spritely critters, always in motion.

He showed me the spot. Cinn was still there. I moved along, as they don't stay put too long. Turns out, it was a pair of muskrats. I didn't capture a photo, but mystery solved. Here he was searching!
They were right here! Honest!

My tale is done! You're all caught up. Thank you for following along. The week begins anew.