July 25th

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.

Really?

Really!

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July 4th – July 17th

Day 186 – 199 — Wowza!  199 days blogged about.  NOT — to clarify — 199 blogs, but 199 days recounted in my blog.

I’ve been busy with summer and holidays, hence the break in writing.  I left on July 7th to go have a little mini-holiday with two of my sisters.  We went to my one sister, Lori, and her husband’s cottage in Northern Ontario.  Near Kenora.  I may have written about it in the past.  It’s a lovely place.  We spent the better part of a week just sitting on the dock, drinking various cocktails and beers, playing Scrabble, and jumping in the lake when it got too hot.  I am proud to say I got a tan.  Some have even said:  “you look great — all tanned and relaxed” so that made me feel pretty darned good.

Prior to leaving for my little holiday I had spent time trying to get my house in order.  Cleaning, gardening, making sure the bills were paid, etc.  Boring, but necessary stuff.

I had high hopes that Tim would have the pergola finished when I got back, but alas, it was not to be.  He has got the main beams up, so now I’m just praying that he gets it done before the end of summer.  If we have a nice autumn I’ll still be able to enjoy it for a bit.  In Tim’s defence, I have to say that it rained a lot the week I was gone.  It rained only once while I was at the lake, and only for a little it one afternoon.  And it was warm rain.  Not like the cold rains of Alberta, at all.

When I arrived in Calgary Monday night for my connecting flight I was very disheartened when the pilot came on to tell us that the temp was 15 degrees.  I nearly gasped.  For the past week I had been enjoying temps in the high 20’s and low 30’s.  Talk about a shock.  Still, when I stepped off the plane in Edmonton, where it was a wonderful 2 degrees warmer, it felt good to be home.

As much as I always dream of getting away, I’m always grateful and happy to get back home.

With so much of summer still stretched out before me I’ve got lots of plans and lots to do.  I’m going to make the most of every moment and be joyful in the moment.

A few shots of my sister’s place in Ontario:

First pics of summer 2013’s garden

July 2nd

Day 184 — Scorching hot day!  33 degrees.  So hot you just didn’t want to move.  But, I did.

Took the kids home around lunch time — came back to a too-quiet house.  A messy house, but too quiet.  Got things put back together somewhat then went outside to work in the yard.  Got the weeds sprayed (but after last night’s storm I’m probably going to have to do it again) and did a bit of weeding.

Managed to squeak in some Corona time with my book on the deck.

All in all — a damn fine summer day!

June 28th – July 1st

Days 180 – 183 — These past four days were spent with our grandkids.  First weekend of summer — what a way to kick it off!  My youngest sister and her two youngun’s came and spent most of the weekend with us, too.  The joy of watching cousins play and get reacquainted.

We had a ton of fun — swimming at the outdoor pool, bbq’s, ice-cream, popsicles, staying up really late and then last night, fireworks to celebrate Canada Day.

Now, it’s time for Grandma to get the house cleaned up and start planning for my own time away.  I just absolutely love summer!

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 22nd

Day 143 — A busy, busy day.  And the wind!  My God, it’s been incredible for the past two days.  The mornings start out nice and calm, sunny.  I get lulled into thinking it will be like that all day.  Not.  around noon the winds whip up and then they just get fiercer as the afternoon unwinds.  Only good thing about the wind is that it’s keeping the mosquitos at bay!

Spent yesterday evening working on Union business.  Can’t wait for the summer to be here and my time to be entirely my own.

Was a heartbreaker of a game between Ottawa and Pittsburgh.  I really want Ottawa to win — just so we can say we’ve got a Canadian team in the running — and they started out so good, but man, oh, man did they blow it in the third.  Here’s hoping they can pull a rabbit out of the hat for the next game.

May 21st

Day 142 — Ah, exactly one month away from the official start of summer!

Today, working out in the garden I came across a toad.  I picked him up to move him out of harm’s way when I suddenly remembered my grandkids and our frogging foray.  So, I went and got a little container and put the toad in it.  I then drove over to the kids’ house and surprised them.  All three of them were amazed by the little critter.  I had them put on my gardening gloves to handle it (so that they didn’t hurt it more than necessary).  They each took turns holding it and, of course, asked to keep it.  No, both me and their mother said, it wouldn’t live, we have to let it go.  The hunt for a suitable place to let it go began.   Finally, we let it go in the flower garden.  I’m  sure the three of them will go out there tomorrow expecting to find the toad living in their garden.

I’m so glad they live close enough for me to do stuff like this.

May 15th – 20th

Day 136 to 141 — We were away in Lethbridge for the funeral of Tim’s uncle Lief.  Sad, but a wonderful time with family.  Lief was 86 and lived a very full and interesting life.  I think you could safely say he was one of those people who actually chose to LIVE his life.  The memorial service on Saturday was very nice.  His youngest daughter gave a moving eulogy and then the members of the Legion where Lief was a regular each bade him a military farewell.  It was a beautiful thing to see.

Tim and his brothers had a good time catching up with relatives that they hadn’t seen in many years.  (Since the last funeral, really.)  We all remarked on how sad that was.  And, of course, made vows we won’t be capable of keeping to not let it happen again.  There is a family reunion this summer, so, maybe, some of us will be keeping that vow.  We’ll see.

Whenever I have one of these extended weekends away from work I find it so hard to get my head wrapped around the reality of returning to work.  It’s not that I don’t like my job — I love what I do — it’s just that I so enjoy having time to just do what I want.  It’s a familiar complaint of mine — I know I’ve aired it on here many, many times — and it usually starts around this time each year.  We’re about 6 weeks away from the end of the school year.  And it just seems like it will never arrive.

Summer beckons like a siren’s song and I am impatient.  I just need to take a deep breath and remind myself — all in good time.

And for you Rick and Connie:  So, it has come to this.

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.

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