At last — pergola!

It’s not quite finished. . . but, it’s nearly there, and man, is it going to be gorgeous!

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!

June 26th

Day 178 — Ahh, the last day of work for this school year!  Bliss!  I came home, pulled up a lounge chair on the deck and had a little siesta.  Bliss!

Actually, aside from making  supper last night I did nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  And reveled in it.  Towards the end of the evening I pulled up that lounge chair again and sat outside doing crossword puzzles until the mosquitos drove me in and in front of the television.

Bliss!

May 29th – June 3rd

Day 150 – 155 — Holy crap!  155 days!  Can’t lay claim to blogging for each and every one of them — which was my intended goal — but I am at least recounting them.

As you can no doubt tell by the sporadic way I’ve been posting, this is my REALLY busy time of the year.  It has been just insane lately, but the end is in sight.  I am counting the days, the hours, the minutes. . .

I think we’re finally going to get a break in our rainy, cloudy, cool weather.  I sure hope so, because I’ve got a pail of deck stain just burning a hole through the floor in my front hallway.  There are so many jobs I’m behind on right now that it gives me fits if I start thinking about them.  So, I don’t.  I just shelve them in the back of my mind and tell myself — you’ll get to it, don’t worry.  It’s not worth stressing about.

And, in truth, it’s not.  But I want things to get done so that I can just mellow out and relax.  Spend more than one night a week cooking a meal.  Sit on my deck and read a book with a cool beer beside me.

So, I haven’t really recounted what I did over the last 5 days.  It wasn’t much, believe me.  Just travel and meetings and getting ready for meetings.  But last night, I attended the retirement party for a dear friend and colleague.  Charlotte is truly one of a kind and she will be greatly missed.  The kids she loved and mentored and helped to educate owe her so much, but all she ever asked for was a smile and a desire to try.  I learned much from her over my ten years working together and I knew I could always count on her for a shoulder to lean on and a friendly face to talk to.  I miss my old school still, and seeing Charlotte retire brought that home again.  It also reaffirmed that times change, people move on and we all have to seek our own path.  I wish her well on wherever hers takes her.

May 14th

Day 135 – A quiet, easy day.  Too windy and unsettled to do any more work on the deck.  It’s going to be that way for a few days.  I’ve got stuff I need to take care of indoors, though, so I suppose it’s all right.  I’ve gotten back on track with my diet — definitely needed after the weekend I had!  Am looking forward to getting some more yard work done and seeing things really get growing.

May 13th

Day 134 — A gorgeous day.  Tim and I got started on staining the deck.  Not that we actually put a drop of stain on the deck yet. . . oh, no there are far too many steps to prep the deck before you can apply stain.  It just kills me — what you think is going to be a simple two hour job ALWAYS turns out to be something that takes the better part of a week.  Especially when you have to do it after your work day.  Sigh.  I love being a homeowner.

May 9th

Day 130 — A nice day.  Relatively warm, but windy.  Always windy.  We decided on a colour for the deck stain.  Now, we just need to go get the stain and do the work.  It’s funny to think that we’re nearly in the middle of May.  Not much work time left in this school year.  Am looking forward to summer.  And all that it brings.

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!

Tuesday afternoon

. . . feeling a bit Moody Blue.

Lots going on right now, some of it hurting my heart.  But, I have faith, and where there is love all will be well.

I’m home sick this afternoon.  Got a chest cold.  Sounds like I have a deep, sexy voice.  Unfortunately I do not feel sexy.  I just feel awful.

Because I am home sick, I was able to contact the appliance repair people and have them come during the morning to fix my fridge.  So, now, supposedly, my year-old fridge will keep a proper temperature.  However, I noticed, right after the repair man left, a tear in my linoleum.

I want to be upfront about this.  My floors are old.  The lino is at least 25 years old.  It’s got nicks and scratches and marks after that many years.  But, it did not have any great gashes in it.  I try, really hard to take good care of my home.  It’s not always the tidiest place on earth, but it is always clean.

I take care when I’m doing my weekly wash of the kitchen floor to remove any really bad marks and I only use mild cleaners like ammonia or vinegar diluted in water to wash them.  Therefore, despite their age and the odd mark here and there, the floors look pretty good.

We’ve been talking about the need to replace the flooring but have it marked down as something to do in about five years.  Seeing as our priority right now is the outside of what we lovingly refer to as “the boondocks”.   So, I’m prepared to baby my floors just than much longer.

Now, with this big gash in the floor, in an extremely high-traffic area I don’t know how well it will hold up.

I called the repair shop right away to let them know and they said they’d have the ‘technician’ call me back.  Curious as to what exactly I could expect when he did call, I called Sears corporate offices to find out.  They told me he would take pictures and submit a claim through their insurance.   They gave me a confirmation number and said goodbye.

The repair man called.  He denies there was a tear in the floor.  Says he would have pointed it out to me if he had done it.  I said, well, I didn’t notice it when you were here, either.  I noticed it when I went to get something from the fridge.  My toe caught on it.  I told him I’d already called Sears and what they said he would do. He said he’d have to wait to hear from them.

So now I sit and wait.  And waffle between feeling guilty for making a fuss over a 25-year-old floor and feeling entirely justified in making my complaint.  It is, after all, the only kitchen floor I’ve got.  And, despite its age, I still rather like it.

I am hoping this situation is resolved quickly and amicably.  What the resolution will be I have no clue.  What would be reasonable?  I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.

Stuff like this makes me crazy.

A deck update:  Tim and Landon spent a day and a half getting the deck foundation all completed.  Now, Tim is at the ‘blocking’ stage and hopefully, tonight he’ll be able to start putting the actual deck boards on!  Am I excited?  You bet your sweet bippy I am!  Of course, the lower half of the deck is going to have to wait for Spring, but I’m good with that.  This upper half will satisfy my deck longing for now.