July 5th — My Dad’s birthday

Happy Birthday to my father who turns 73 (or is it 74?) today.  Him and Mom live 3 provinces away, so unfortunately I won’t be able to go have cake with them to celebrate, but he should be getting my really funny card in a day or two.  I am always late these days with the cards.  It’s a Black family thing.  Just ask my parents.

So, I am fully immersed in the joy of being on holiday.  These first few days have been pretty terrific.

We’ve ordered our new patio door — should be ready in 8 to 9 weeks.  Just as long as it’s in before winter.  That’s all I care about.  We have altered our deck plans — yet again.  We may be expanding it a little.  We’re taking a few days to really think it through.

Of my list of things to do I got the bathroom cleaned yesterday.  Yeah!  Not that it was Hoarder’s filthy or anything like that, I just needed to wash those walls and the baseboards in the worst way.  Now I can sleep at night!

On a personal writing goal type of note — I put six poems in the mail yesterday.  Stuff I had written a couple of years ago, the six I chose to send off are all about relationships — didn’t realize when I was writing them that they made a nice little sextet.  We’ll see what happens.  Fingers are firmly crossed.

This weekend I’m heading off to the mountains with a couple of friends.  We’re going whitewater rafting and horseback riding.  All in the same day.  There will be a barbecue in the evening to wind everything up.  Am so looking forward to this trip.  We’ll do some hiking and some soaking in the hot springs at Banff.  Heather and I are planning on taking the Cowboy Trail home — it’s a beautiful drive — have done it many times.  The scenery is often breathtaking and so much nicer than rushing back along the #2.

This past Sunday Tim and I finally got out on the bike for a little day trip.  We travelled to Evansburg and stopped at the Pembina River Campground for lunch.  Now, it was not particularly warm on Sunday — at one point only 16 degrees — that was around 2:30 I believe, but still, down there on the river were hardy Canadians determined to get the most out of a summer long weekend.

There were dozens of people in bathing suits and shorts tubing down the river.  Not only was the air not warm, the water was colder!  I had to laugh, though, at their blithe determination.  Everyone was laughing and having a grand old-time.  We ate our lunch up above the river in a small stand of spruce trees that sheltered us from the wind and the mosquitoes.  Then, because the sky was getting darker by the second we decided we better hit the road again.

We just got back out on the highway when the rain started.  It only lasted about 10 minutes, so we weren’t too bad off.  We drove to Mayerthorpe thinking we’d stop to get a coffee and warm up a bit, but couldn’t find a coffee shop anywhere.  So, back out on the road we went.

About 20 minutes from Mayerthorpe on Highway 44 we came across Rochfort Bridge.  A tiny little hamlet named after the bridge just a short ways away.  We stopped at the lovely little gift shop/restaurant to take a peek.  There’s a small, four building museum,  a vegetable market and the gift shop.  In behind this are about two dozen homes, well hidden by scrub and tall grass.  I can’t imagine what anyone does there.  Beautiful country surrounds the place, but there is nothing but fields and highway for miles in any direction.  Kids must go stir crazy.

We managed to make it the rest of the way home without getting rained on too much — a few sprinkles here and there. The trip was a good six hours and by the time we got home we both needed a nap.  A lovely way to spend a Sunday.

Well, that’s what I’ve been up to for the past few days.  Hope everyone else is having a fantastic summer, or a not too terrible winter.

Aaah…

. . . first day of summer break.

Can you say relief?  Good God I am so glad to finally be on holiday.

Not that we’re doing much.  There will be a trip to my sister’s place later on this summer with my son’s family, but until then it will just be chillin’ at home and tending to all the little (and not so little) jobs I’ve neglected over the winter months.

I am really looking forward to getting some serious writing done.  I have a couple of projects in the works and so have committed myself to a couple of hours writing time each day.  Then there is the organizing (and culling) of my photographs.  I need to reinstall Photoshop — that is scaring the hell out of me.

Photoshop is one of those programs that makes me feel awkwardly stupid — I don’t understand how to manipulate layers or where my edited copies go after I’ve saved them.  It’s a snobby, but rightfully so because it’s so brilliant, program.  I will just have to do my best to contend with it.

Then there is gardening.  Much to do outside, but always enjoyable work.  I love pulling weeds, talking to my flowers, filling my bird bath, just putzing about out in the yard.  I listen to the birds, I catch snippets of conversation from passersby, smile at the kids riding by on their bikes and simply, genuinely enjoy breathing and being without any sort of stress hanging over me.  I do some of my best thinking and planning when I’m out amongst my plants.

I have a few maintenance type chores I want to tend to this summer, as well.  My bathroom cupboard and baseboards need a paint touch-up, and the whole room needs a cleaning from top to bottom.  Which will be easy because the entire room is tile.  Even the ceiling.  So, it should be a relatively quick and satisfying job to complete.

I need, also, to restain and reseal the windows on the south side of the house.  They look awful.  Plus, of course the windows all need cleaning.  I chore I hate.  I do the outsides once a year ( I can hear the gasps of horror), the insides of the lesser used windows maybe twice a year.  Main windows get a bit more cleaning, but really, this is not one of those jobs that I happily approach.

If there is time I would like to repaint the bedroom my grandchildren stay in when they come for a visit.  And the guest bedroom in the basement.  Though my own bedroom has never been painted in the 21 years we have lived in this house it will wait — I would like to remodel the entire room, so painting it seems like a waste of time, energy and money to me.

My husband has promised me (sort of) that he will build my deck this summer.  I really, really hope so.  I want so badly to buy a new barbecue!  Long story and an example of my stubbornness.  But more than that I want to be able to sit outside and enjoy my surroundings again, I want to be able to entertain people in my back yard, to be able to sit outside and enjoy the beauty of a Summer’s or early Fall’s evening.

And in amongst all that I want to have time to just sit and relax with glass of wine and a good book.

I’ve got seven weeks.  What are my chances?