June 27th

Day 179 — Day one of the holidays — and it was lovely.  Got up went for a nice long walk along a different path.  Not the usual 30 minute circuit Heather and I usually navigate when I’m working.  The air was warm, even though we’d had a helluva storm last night.  Lots of thunder and lightning, and, of course, rain.  But, other than a couple of slight showers that was supposed to be the end of the 40 days and 40 nights we’ve been enduring.

I did a lot of little things today — made pineapple marmalade, tidied the house, took care of small chores I’ve been putting off since forever.  I even found time to read my book outside on the deck a couple of times.  (In case you hadn’t figured it out, my deck is my favorite place to be in the summer time.)

For dinner I made crab cakes and salad with asparagus on the side.  Of course, I ate it outside.  Then I finished off a nice little glass of white zinfandel and read a few more pages of my book before going back out into the garden.

I love not working!

March 17th

Day 76 — St. Patrick’s Day.  Didn’t celebrate.  But I did sleep in — until 10:30.  Have been fighting a cold for a few days — I think the extra sleep helped, because I’m feeling almost 100%.  Tim and I spent a quiet day shoveling the driveway (want to laugh out loud at that!)  and I washed floors and did laundry — the usual Sunday chores.  But, it was gloriously sunshiny while we were outside and I felt glad that we got out and got a bit of exercise in the fresh air.

Menial Chores, the luxury of

So, yesterday, I got up close and personal with my kitchen and bathroom floors.  For the first time in over 10 years I got down on my hands and knees and scrubbed them.

Now, don’t go thinking I’m some kind of slovenly pig — I do wash my floors quite regularly — at least once a week, but I usually do it with a mop.

My husband owns this horrible pair of black-soled shoes that leaves awful scuff marks whenever he tromps through the house with them on.  I’ve asked that he cease doing that, at least in those shoes, but, he’s a man and he forgets.  So, I’m forever stooping down to scrub them away and cursing him while I’m at it.

Yesterday, I decided it was high time to wash the floors and I noticed that there were scuff marks all over the place.  I would be stooping and cursing a lot, it seemed.

It would, I thought, be easier to just stay low to the floor.  Out came the mop bucket, a good rag, one of those miracle sponge thingys and a scrub brush — and a towel for my knees, which I didn’t think of getting until I was nearly half-way done.

I enjoyed the exercise.  Honestly.  While I was down there scrubbing away and wiping off the scuff marks I had a great conversation with myself.   I thought about the Christmas just past and how much I’d enjoyed myself, I envisioned my afternoon with friends and the movie we were going to see.  I mumbled and muttered away to myself about all kinds of little, forgettable things.  Yes, it took twice the amount of time it normally takes me to wash the floors, but, it was time well spent.

My floors are old.  They’re pushing 30, I believe, and need replacing in the worst way.  But, they’re going to have to last for a couple more years, at least.  I took my time while scrubbing and wiped the baseboards down, I dug into corners and scrubbed grimy spots under the cupboards. I was horrified to discover just how much hair I’d lost — my god, it was everywhere!

While I was down there I thought about how much use these floors have seen:  the years my son spent growing up here and the thousands of footsteps he’d taken upon them; the scrabble of our two dog’s nails upon them as we tossed balls or played catch-me! with them; the hushed footsteps of my husband and I as we traversed the cool linoleum on early mornings trying not to wake each other as we begin our days; the untold number of friends and family’s footsteps during visits and holidays; and now, the constant patter of my grandchildren’s small feet as they run and dash through the house whenever they’re over.

They are old floors, they are battle-scarred and worn, and as I washed and scrubbed and scoured I felt thankful that I had such wonderful floors.

Still, when I was done, when I stood up and slowly flexed my aching knees and stretched out my crooked back I took an appraising look at my handiwork and declared loudly that that was the last time I’d wash a floor on my hands and knees.  Ever.

Oh, and lovely memories or not, those floors gotta go.

The sound of silence. . .

. . . I am alone today.  For the first time in over 3 weeks.  It is a wonderful feeling.

Not that I didn’t enjoy the company I’ve kept over that time — most certainly not.  But now that the house is mine and mine alone again I am fully enjoying it.

Although. . .

. . . my house is a bloody mess.  But in a good way.  It’s the mess my three grandchildren have left in their wake.  And this morning as I wove my way through a maze of toys and crayons and dress-up clothes and rocks and crafts and towels and. . . I smiled as I thought about how much fun we had.  It’s going to take a day (or two) to get the house back to the way I normally keep it, but that’s okay.  I’ve got time.

I am now going to make the most of the rest of my holidays to relax and go at a leisurely pace.  There are still chores to be done, but I’ll poke away at them without being stressed.  I want to gut the kids’ room yet and repaint, but I think that will be a project for the Fall now.

What’s most important is Tim finishing the deck.  He’s been doing all the work himself — and it’s a big job.  Especially in the heat we’ve been having.  I worry sometimes about him overdoing it and nag him to quit and come inside for a break.  He hates taking breaks, says it’s harder to get back to work when he does, but I’m persistent.

Right now things are stalled because he had to return to work a couple of days early.  So, the ledger boards, which are giving him a major headache are just laying out there, unattached.  I am trying not to despair. I know he’ll get it done.  My husband is nothing if not stubborn and he’ll do it all without help.  Pride.  The cause of all my worry.

Well, I shouldn’t say he didn’t have any help.  The kids all tried to pitch in and give Grandpa a hand from time to time.  Here’s a picture of them helping screw together a support beam:

They were actually tapping in the screws which was quite a production!  Tim let them hold the drill afterwards, but they didn’t much care for the noise and vibration.

We had such a blast having them here for a week.  Went to the outdoor pool in Redwater three times — absolutely enjoyed that.  We can’t very well go there without any kids in tow — would look like a couple of old creepers!  So, now we’ll have to content ourselves with evening trips to the indoor pool in St. Albert.  Sigh.

I wish I had taken Landon to the pool in Redwater when he was younger.  He would have enjoyed it.  But, when they move here, finally, he and Jenn will be able to take the kids.  It’s a great place, not too crowded and very clean.  Run by a great bunch of young people.  I truly will miss going there with the kids.

A couple of pics of the kids at the pool:

And now, I must go get started getting back to my ‘real’ life.

Enjoy the day!