Day 216 and 217 — Tim and I hit the road for Lethbridge and a visit with Rick and Connie. we’re going to spend a few days with them before the family reunion next weekend. We’re going to go up to Beauvais with them for a few days. Ah, to relax in the mountains by a lake! Can’t wait. Then, we’ll come back to their place and get ready for everyone else to descend. Looking forward to a fantastic time with family.
Yesterday, we went to Coaldale and visited the Alberta Birds of Prey centre there. (Will post pictures separately) What a great place! Loved how they had the birds displayed — some are in large enclosures, but they tether the big birds on perches in the open (under shade, of course) and it is wonderful to be able to see them up close. We were lucky enough to hit the place at the time they were going to be exercising one of the bald eagles. His name was Lincoln, and he was magnificent. The handler — a volunteer — as I believe everyone working at the centre is was very engaging. He invited kids to give a couple of the eagles a shower after Lincoln was done flying, and then told us about Spirit, a golden eagle. Spirit was blinded by a shotgun pellet. Brought into the shelter as a young bird he’s been there for 13 years. I would have to say that he is probably the centre’s mascot. He picked Spirit up and invited everyone to get their picture with him. He is so tame and gentle that you are able to put your face right up to his. Of course, I had to do that!
I highly recommend that if you’re in southern Alberta you stop in Coaldale and take in the birds of prey facility. Just watch out for the circling flocks of seagulls — I left with a not-to-nice souvenier on my white t-shirt!
Day 213 – 215 — We’ve had a few very lovely days here in Bon Accord. And it looks like the long weekend is shaping up to be a gorgeous one.
I managed, finally, to get all the weeding done. Yay! Yay! Yay! I sat under my lovely pergola for the first time last night and enjoyed the fading rays of the sun after a late dinner. I made the most delicious spinach salad I’ve ever had. Don’t want to boast — well, that’s a lie! — but, damn, that salad was good.
On Wednesday I decided to pick up my grandkids and spend the day with them — to take a break from the monotony of chores and day-to-day. We went to the spray park in St. Albert where they had a grand time. Ethan was enthralled with the skateboard park next to us and I have fears that as soon as he’s big enough he’s going to want to try what he saw. Gives me fits. Afterwards we had popsicles and ice-cream as we sat in the sun waiting for them to dry off.
Then, home where I made them tacos for supper. We were having fish tacos. None of them have ever had fish, so Grandma decided to try it on them. I LOVE fish tacos — my new favorite food. Has been for about a year now. Anyway, they loved the fish, just not on tacos. They’ll get there, eventually. But I’m glad I was able to introduce them to something new.
On Thursday I went and got my haircut. Quite a bit shorter than I have had, and I love it. Something new for the new me. LOL. Followed my plan to find a little coffee shop and sit and write for a couple of hours. Tried out a place called JAX coffee on 50th street. Very nice. Excellent food and service. I would recommend the wonton soup if you decide to give it a try. Got some good writing done. Fleshed out a poem, which I think is going to get entered into a contest when it’s done.
I am feeling full of positive vibes. I know it has mostly to do with the summer and the removal of work stress, but I’m determined to hang on to them.
Oh, yeah — I’ve registered for courses at Concordia again. Marching ever forward.
Day 212 — A better day weather wise. Not hot, but at least warm. I spent the morning doing — what else? — housework. Then, in the afternoon I did this:
It took me about 5 hours but that baby is nearly show-room clean! Inside and out. Although I enjoyed the process of cleaning it (I’m wierd like that) I have to say that I’ll never do it again. It took much to much time and my back and shoulders were killing me when I was done. Next time, I’m taking it in and paying the $100 to have it done.
Day 211 — It was a work inside kind of a day. Very cool again, but at least some sun. Am working on some writing projects (which I will stay mum about until I’m confident that I’ll actually finish them) and just in general did house-stuff.
The pergola is all but finished. We just need to do some of the fine details and then it will time to move furniture under and enjoy it. I am thrilled — and, as I said before, it is beautiful. My husband does good work.
Had dinner last night at my favorite pizza restaurant — Famoso. A new one opened up on 97th Street near 153rd Ave. I still think my favorite Famoso spot, though, is the one up on St. Albert Trail near the theatres. For some reason the atmosphere and the pizza are just that much better there. All the same my margherita pizza with Italian ham was delicious!
Days 208 – 210 — It’s 7:47 Monday morning. It’s going to be another cool day here in Bon Accord. The weather we’ve had this past weekend made me feel like Fall is coming. Saturday the high was 18, Sunday 16 and today — 17. I took a look at the long-range forecast praying that it was going to get better, and, it does. Starting tomorrow there is a warming trend. And it looks like it will last straight through the month of August! Yeah!
It was so cool yesterday that I wore jeans, a long-sleeved denim shirt and a vest to work on the yard. Tim wore a heavy sweatshirt while he worked on the pergola. The sun barely peeked through all day, and it put me in mind of all those stupid dooms-day stories where the sun is blocked out by clouds of radiation or dust or whatever and the earth becomes a cold and miserable ball of straggling humanity that burns whatever it can find in effort to create warmth and comfort. And there is no rainbow, ever.
Yes, I know. A little drastic in light of a few days of cool, rainy weather. But, still — this is July! It’s supposed to be hot and sunny! I’ll put on those jeans again today, finish my yardwork and be glad that tomorrow the sun will come out.
Day 207 — Took a leap today and we’ll see where I land. I may be aging, but I aim to stay young in my mind, my heart and my body.
Finished Full Dark, No Stars the other day and have begun Vanishing Point by W. O. Mitchell.
Full Dark, No Stars was great — vintage SK. I liked all the stories — there are four — but my favorites were Big Driver and A Good Marriage. I think A Good Marriage was my absolute fave. Fair Extension deserves a shout out too, just for the fact that Mr. King deals extremely well with a trait most of us pretend not to have in our natures. Jealousy. It’s dark, it’s horrifying, and you can find disturbing bits of yourself in the anti-hero. SK does what he does so well. Truly a master.
Finally completed weeding the main front garden. The path is clear and things that weren’t getting their fair share of sun are now basking in it. Next up — rock garden. Which really should be a cake-walk. Then, I’ve got to start focussing on indoor chores and touching up windows around the ol’ place.
A very cool and somewhat windy day — a high of 22 degrees. The forecast for this weekend? We’re looking at a high of 18 on Saturday.
Day 205 — Spent a lovely afternoon with my granddaughter and my sister-in-law. Went for lunch at Cora’s (not all that good), then went out to Salisbury Greenhouses (lovely place) and afterwards, ice-cream at Dairy Queen (always good).
Hailey was a little confused at first about why Michelle and I would want to go see a ‘green’ house. We laughed and tried to explain, but until we got there I don’t think she truly understood where we were going. Thankfully, Salisbury, like most greenhouses these days, isn’t just full of plants. They had lovely furniture, gift ware, jewellery, clothes and ornaments. We had too much fun looking at jewellery and Hailey modelled purses and scarves for us. She is becoming such a charming and funny young girl.
Went for a walk in the evening with my friend Shelly. Stopped by for a quick visit at my son and daughter-in-law’s place, ran into a friend I hadn’t seen in ages and stood talking in the street for a good 15 minutes. I love living in a small town!
Days 202 and 203 — Yesterday — rainy and cool so decided to do more housecleaning. Took on the main living room. Got up close and personal with the upper windows and am looking at some re-caulking work and painting before winter. Those window really need to be replaced, but. . .
Am continuing on my clean and purge routine. It’s such a great feeling! The wall unit in the living room where I keep just about everything under the sun was a big job. I threw out a a TON of outdated manuals and junk that had accumulated over the past 23 years. I can’t believe how much crap we stick in drawers! I also packed away some things that just didn’t need to be collecting dust anymore.
When I got to the bottom cupboards I discovered the photo albums we used to put all our pictures in. Looked through them quickly, got a little teary and though my intent had been to pack them up, I just couldn’t. It’s wonderful to look back on all those pictures and see the young us. Tim, fresh-faced with a look of eagerness and excitement in his eyes; Landon, so young with all those beautiful red curls he had as a baby and toddler — and always with a big, beautiful smile. And, then, there’s the young me. Looking, I thought, often far too serious, and much, much thinner. I had smiles too, though, and it made my heart ache (just for a moment) for all those years gone. I love my family. I love that I have these pictures of us. I now have a pile of pictures that need going through and placing in those albums. Another rainy-day project.
Today was quiet. Tim had to work and I just putzed about. At noon I went and picked up my youngest grandson and had him come visit for the afternoon. We worked in the yard and then I made us strawberry milkshakes. After we played UNO and he beat me. Four years old and already a card-shark! I loved having that one-on-one time with him. Doesn’t happen very often with any of them anymore. I’m going to have to work on changing that.
I chose a new book. It’s Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King. A summer just isn’t a summer if I don’t get at least one SK book in. He is my writing hero. This book is a collection of short stories — novellas, really — and I just finished the first one. 1922 is a grim little story about being careful about what you wish for. Vintage Stephen King. I loved it, though some parts were a little squeamish — but then, that’s why he’s the master.
And now, it’s off to bed. Hope I don’t have nightmares.
Day 201 — An unsettled day here in Alberta. Sunny, but not very warm, then thunder and rain later in the day. Managed to get some more weeding done — God, will I ever be done? — and then ran off to an appointment. Things are shaping up all around.
A quiet evening at home. Finished the first book in the Game of Thrones series. Loved it. But am going to go on to something else now. Read the book on my Kobo. Also loved it. But, I miss the weight and heft of an actual book, and the slippery, whispery sound of pages turning. There’s a secret sort of anticipation in that turning of a page with your hand. The eye follows anxiously, wondering with a thrill what is coming next.
So now all I have to do is decide which of the twenty or so books I have left to read will be the one. Choices, choices.