Sunday, October 24, 2021

Long Ride Home

Terry and I recently returned from yet another visit to Guelph. 

With winter approaching, we never know how many more trips we’ll be able to make before snow falls. So we savour each one.

The scenery is always interesting! There are farms to admire...

But there are also a lot of big trucks! So at some point along the six to seven hour drive, we get tired of the highway!

Once we’re a few hours from home - if we don’t feel rushed - we leave the main road and take the old highway that skirts the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario.

So beautiful! So relaxing!

Occasionally we see a barge going down the this red one in the distance...

And there are “a thousand” islands!

The back roads do make our long trip home a little longer - but they’re such a refreshing way to end the long drive home!

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Make a Plan!

As winter approaches, I’m already thinking about how I want to spend my indoor time and not waste it.

I’m also reading a book I bought a while back on forming habits.

The key to forming a habit, the book tells me,  is to create an action plan:




Thinking of several recent accomplishments, like getting the flu shot this past week, I realize that I had an action plan: It was... whenever I go into a drugstore or grocery store, I’ll ask if there are any flu shots available and - if there is no long line - I’ll get whatever dose they have... the one for seniors or the regular one.

And that’s exactly what I did.

Another action plan I made recently involves knitting. I want to do a little knitting every day, but I don’t want it to consume my life - or to irritate my wrists by knitting for too long at a time. So my new action plan is: whenever I knit, I’ll listen to one podcast while I knit. That will limit my knitting time. And if my wrists start to bother me, I’ll stop.

Now... how to accomplish other things I want to do, like...

  • getting rid of old magazines that I’ve found too interesting to toss? 
  • making quilting - and painting part of my daily life again? 
How to do the hundred and one projects I’ve successfully put off doing for years?

I definitely need an action plan!

Friday, October 22, 2021

Fishbone Cactus

There’s a saying in Hebrew that goes: “When you have a child in second grade, everyone else has a child in second grade, too.”

Suddenly you begin to notice all the second graders! The same goes for plants...

I had never - to my recollection - seen a fishbone cactus until I visited a greenhouse store in London, Ontario a few weeks ago. 

Now I’m seeing them everywhere!

I noticed this one in my neighborhood Canadian Tire store here in Ottawa - so, of course, I had to get it! 

As an aside, when I saw its name, I wondered if the plant was named by someone who likes to fish - or whose job was to clean and fillet fish! To me, it resembles “ric rac” - a zig zag trim sewn on clothing...

I see it’s called ric rac cactus, too!

I hope this one grows well enough to divide and give half to my daughter - if it’s not toxic to cats. In the meantime, I’m learning what conditions this plant needs to thrive. Hopefully our house won’t to too cold for it in winter. Our home definitely doesn’t mimic the tropics!

Thursday, October 21, 2021

Nut Harvest Time

Now that fall is here, it’s nut harvest time…

There is a black walnut tree next to our yard - and its branches hang over our property.

If my father lived here, he’d probably pick up the fallen nuts and roast them. But Terry and I have no idea how to do it. So the squirrels harvest them instead - climbing up the tree and gnawing on the stem of each nut until it drops to the ground with a loud thump. When they land, they look like green tennis balls on the grass.

Terry finds this nut harvesting very annoying - not because the squirrels eat the nuts - but because they make such a mess all over the deck and lawn chairs doing it.

I personally am more annoyed by them burying the nuts in my flower beds and forgetting them. A year or two later, I have to dig up little trees.

I wonder if we should figure out how to use this free nut bounty for ourselves - to eat - as well as to avoid the mess and the weeding. 

I’m sure my father would have. He was raised on a farm in Poland. They were very poor and didn’t waste a thing!

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

New Sweater Project

The last time I shopped at the Mary Maxim store in Paris, Ontario, I purchased a sweater kit for myself... yarn and pattern.

I was intrigued by the design - created by alternating two rows of plain colour with two rows of variegated yarn that includes the same colour as the plain - together with other colours.

It’s another sweater knit from the top down, in one piece. I’m currently ten rows away from dividing the “tube” I’m knitting into bodice and sleeves.

This is the hardest stage for me because the sweater is very bulky on the circular needle - and I have no sense of what size it will be. Will it fit me? Or will I have to offer it to my daughter - who is much thinner?!

Ten more rows - with 40 more stitches to increase - and I’ll have a better idea of the answer!

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Interesting Farm Plant Store

One of the places my daughter was interested in exploring, when we last visited her, was a large plant store on a farm near London, Ontario. 

She had read somewhere - on social media, perhaps - that they had interesting plants. 

She wanted to buy a rattle snake plant.

So off we went up and down county roads...

It’s so much more interesting than taking the highway!

I must admit, I was surprised by how many fields and farms we passed... This is real farming country!

I hadn’t been to London for years - not since my youngest son was a student at the University of Western Ontario - at least 15 years ago.

For plant lovers, the store is a real treat! 

Housed in a large greenhouse, the plants come in various sizes.

So many plants I’ve never seen before - as well as old favourites.

After stopping for snacks...

... we drove to the university - where, for some reason, I forgot to take pictures.

We did get a picture of the house our son had shared with friends for several years. I assume it’s still student housing: a pair of jeans had been tossed on the roof!

It was interesting to come back!

Monday, October 18, 2021

First Haircut!

We were recently sent pictures of our grandson’s first (real) haircut...

Until now, his hair has been trimmed at home.

Children’s hair stylists have interesting setups these days... It really looks fun!

It’s a far cry from back when my brother got his first haircut, sitting on phone books to raise him up on the barber’s chair.

“Don’t let the barber cut off your ears!” one of my mother’s brothers teased as my brother headed out the door for his first haircut.

Not surprisingly, he screamed the whole time he was on the barber’s chair and was traumatized for years!

In contrast, my grandson seems to be having a good time!

And the lollipop seals the deal: He’ll definitely want to come back!