Saturday, 27 August 2011


I have a potato! I planted potatoes for the first time and they grew! I like potato salad, and was hoping all that work in the garden by the raptors would be keeping me bug free. Yep. It does. But I also seem to have lip prints on the potatoes poking out of the ground a bit.Seems there is a price for pheasant vigilance.

I went in to work yesterday for a minute. Weird, eh? I changed the film on the laminator for old times sake and was impressed that I felt slightly out of the loop and was fine with that. Cool! However there is this awkward bit. I also went to a movie with friends and loved being out with girls again. I don't do that often, and work was the source for these sort of outings. I'm not the best at keeping up my part of friendships, and I will have to work at this. It's important to me. I ignored girl friends for much of my life and now that I have a few, I need to cherish them with the love and attention they deserve. If I could say that to all the 18 year olds I know and have them follow through, they would do fine. When I was young I was busy and always felt more comfortable with guys. I found many girls far too fluffy for me. I had a few good solid friends but these are relationships you need to maintain. Gardens seem to be easier but much shorter term and don't do as much for the soul. Girl friends and lip gloss - 2 things I need to practice.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

It's Starting

DH went back to work this week. When I retired I expected him to be working and he wasn't. Now, I did enjoy having him around. He is fairly easy going and a pleasant boy, most of the time. But it didn't have that retired feel I thought I would have. Now I'm on my own and it's different.

I have to start sorting through what this new thing is all about. I am getting up earlier now - when he gets up for work. I like that. I bike and read the paper and make tea. Good way to start the day. Then I have nesting activities. I'm feeling the urge to improve the nest. We are always in a state of flux here, with many major projects on the go in and outside. I have to say the end is in sight. I think. Yesterday I prepared windows and foundation walls for painting. Then I came in and marked the hem on a wedding dress for my neice. That has been a major project this summer and I will be glad to see it done. It's been a wonderful thing to do, but it's nerve wracking.

But I'm also feeling the need to clean and wear a cleaning smock. Like a housewife from the 50's. What's with that? I want to learn to make bread without a bread machine. I am putting up jam (although that's not new). I'm thinking of a cleaning schedule. I'm wondering about house dresses and aprons and dinner on the table. It's not an oppressive thought. It feels nice and settled and purposeful.

Perhaps there's a pill for this? I'll see how it goes. Meanwhile I'm off to the library to pick up some books on lacemaking. Another new thing that seems to be invading my fancy. And I need to cal Ginnie. She's going to teach me to knit socks.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

I Have a New Toy

Not that kind of toy - get your mind out of the bedroom! There was a sale on and I upgraded my ipod to an iphone. Woohoo!!! Now I only have one thing that goes beep in my purse. I love it. I am an Apple pie person.

It seemed to be my day to shop. Back to school has the shoppers out in full frenzied force and I was a bit apprehensive going to THE MALL. The MALL no longer holds as much charm for me. I prefer shops and quirky places to shop. But I had recently been gifted a gorgeous bracelet and had to have it sized. Well, it was still too big and I had to go back. I felt bad about that. It's hard to size a wiggly thing like that and it's a matter of preference and they did give it a good try. Well I was worried about them not wanting to see me and that bracelet again, but they couldn't have been nicer. They were most apologetic and offered to get me a whole new bracelet. It's nice to deal with someone who wants you to be only pleased with your purchase. The bracelet is off for try#2 and I'm quite hopeful things will go well.

Then I noticed that iphones were advertised for $99 with one carrier and went off to my current carrier to get a matching deal. Now there's history here and little of it is good. 6 years ago my DH wanted to surprise me with a prettier phone for Christmas. He went off and picked up a new phone for me (it was indeed prettier). However, even though the phone was in my name and the bill is in my name, they put the new phone in his name. So in effect he controls the phone but doesn't pay for it. Cute, eh? To top it off, they cancelled my service and called me to see if I liked my new phone (the surprise I hadn't had yet). So over the next 6 years I had t drag DH with me to upgrade or discuss said phone. Each time we were assured that I now also had access.

So I get to the phone store and indeed I am still persona non grata. I left one person on the phone to the phone gods trying to straighten that out while a trainee tried to help me sort through deals and options. Sounds like a recipe for a disaster, doesn't it? Well, it couldn't have been more pleasant. Another person dropped in to help and with 3 of them on the case they carefully went through all the options and we all came away happy I had what I wanted and needed. It was a most pleasant experience! I think they were as happy as I was. We all waved goodbye with big smiles!

So, humming the theme from Rocky I went directly to the local tech store to get a transparent guard for the phone screen. Unbelievably I found just what I wanted and met a fine young man who assured me he was the most qualified and gifted person available anywhere in the world to install it for me. And he was! He was as happy about my new phone as I was!

A perfect day. I'm going to do only happy shopping from now on. I will happy sales staff relentlessly in pursuit of the happy shopping experience. I have experienced it fully, and want to spread the smile. Give it a try. Make happy a verb!

Wasn't this the most saccharine blog ever? I just had it in me and it had to come out. My apologies. Next time I'll do better.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Do Fruit Flies Poop?

It seems they do. All over my kitchen window in fact. I have the usual late August invasion and now I have all these teeny little drops on the glass where they congregate. Who knew? Who wanted to know?

On a brighter note my ever thoughtful DH bought me a lovely gift! He was off to the Home Depot (known simply as the 'Po at our house) because he needed a new shovel. He handles a shovel well and had worn both of his shovels to a frazzle. I like to watch him shovel. He's very smooth and capable with that thing. However, he has now gifted me with my own shovel (matching his and hers) so I won't be watching as much. How sweet! I'd been wanting my own shovel forever and had just about given up hope! Makes me wonder if ham is on sale. I'd like to make him a nice dinner to show my appreciation.

Someday I must explain about the ham.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

The Raptors are at it again.

It's been raining lately (as usual) and I think that means the bugs and worms are at the surface. So now the pheasants/raptors spend the morning in the front yard snacking. Sometimes they just sit and sunbathe. Cars and trucks pass by about 30 feet away and they are not in the least disturbed. Currently the flock ranges from 8 to 11 and have been with us since spring. I wonder if we are doing the right thing to put out corn each day. They only get 4 cups for the whole crew and that isn't enough (I don't think) to sustain them. They supplement nicely with berries and bugs and whatnot from the surroundings. Are they becoming too dependent? Are they losing a healthy respect for people and traffic? After all, daddy was hit while crossing the highway behind us. Are we bringing up children who never leave home? Not that I want them to leave, but I do want happy, independent offspring who are capable of surviving whatever. Do all parents worry like this? And indeed, at 4 cups of cracked corn per day, I can afford this. DH went down to brush them back from the road a bit. They paid him token attention and crouched behind a bush for a minute. They look like 2 year olds playing hide and seek behind their own hands. 

Yes, still dieting. Still a bit hungry. Still biking. I like instant gratification as much as the next guy, and hope I can maintain interest. I want to be in better shape and have to get serious about this, or resign myself to helpless little old ladyhood in the near future. Also, I love fashion and like to make my own clothes. I think they will look so much better if the rolls of fat along my middle smooth out a bit. Just saying.

OMG the pheasants have competition! I was just interrupted by this sight at the corn dump. That will teach the little guys to take corn for granted. I haven't seen him since the spring, but I know he's been around from the complete lack of strawberries and cherries in the garden and the foot prints everywhere. Figures he would be back so boldly during the day. The apple trees are ready.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

I'm Hungry

Before I forget, here's my August face. I don't see wonderful things yet, but today I have other things on my mind.

I went to the beach yesterday with family. I took pictures (I like to take pics of family) and looked at them last night. It's time to admit I'm a Butterball. I'm a 55 year old woman on the slippery slope to round, short Aunt Edna physique. I'm sure you all know one of those. I eat well and exercise but not with any enthusiasm. I've watched DH go through heart rehab and learn all about diet and exercise. He's quite intense and yet results are still slow to come for him, and he's dedicated! It seems that once you pass 24 or 18, things go much more slowly. I used to think slim and it would happen. I'd lay off the Kentucky Fried for a week and all would be well. If I'm honest about things, that really hasn't happened since I was, let's say...30. If I were really honest, I'd have to admit that the Aunt Edna state is already here.

So I am on  diet. I don't like it much yet. No longer is it large tea, double/double, with milk. It's still large, but single/single. Oh dear. I had a nice salad for lunch and drank 3 tall glasses of water today. I don't like water much either. No more olive oil on my grilled veggies. Tonight, snack will be fruit. I confess, I rinsed the sand off a Twizzler I found in the bottom of my purse this afternoon and chewed it slowly. This gets better, right? Are there endorphins or something? 

I have to go bike. I bike indoors on the weekend. There are other people in the park on the weekend, and it loses that private preserve thing it has going on the week days. I do get to watch The Fifth Element on TV to help things go faster. JP Gaultier did the costumes and they are amazing. I saw his exhibit in Montreal and it was like walking into the most amazing closet, with clothes strewn everywhere and the lipstick stains still in place. I could have moved in for the week and just sat in front of each outfit forever, and then moved to the next. Now see? If I lose weight, I could wear that corset. 

Friday, 12 August 2011

Bicycle Shorts

My expected packages arrived today! Yah! I spent some quality time with my DVDs and books. I looked inside a Chanel jacket and organized my knitting needles in eager anticipation of knitting a beaded purse. Looks tricky. I may need supervision and wine. But one thing led to another and I stayed in my bike shorts all day. You know, those things with the padded seat? I got them cheap in Montreal and they do help cushion.

While in Montreal with 2 sisters and visiting a third, a delicate subject reared it's interesting head. You know how, when you get older, or whatever, it is sometimes difficult to hold it all in. Know what I'm saying? With the sisters and any amount of wine we get into a frivolous mood sometimes. Discussions and actions get a bit heightened? One thing Ileads to another and legs get crossed. Eyes roll back in heads and girls sink to the floor in panic. What you gonna do?

Well, after an impromptu poke in the armpits from my DH, it came to me. Bicycle shorts! They might look odd (well actually they look pretty awful) but they do have an air of sporty purpose. Who would know? And they have all that padding down there. I think I'm on to something. Someone notify Whoopi and tell her poise comes in many disquises.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011


I went to the mailbox today. I love mail. First I get out my bike and bike past the mailbox to the local bike/hike trail. Today there was a diesel spill in the canal there. Someone with bald tires in the rain hit a truck and it dumped. No one was hurt, just the guardrail and 2 vehicles. Meanwhile 1000 litres of diesel dumped into the highest point of a waterway that extends across the province. Oops. Mind you, cleanup and repairs started right away. Mention was made that those who draw drinking water from Williams Lake should sniff before they sip. Bless my city water!

Back to the mail. After I do my 10 km circuit in the park I get back to the mailbox and get my reward. I try not to collect every day, as an empty box is not rewarding and I like to build a little anticipation. I am expecting a DVD and some books currently so anticipation is heightened!. I also have more magazine subscriptions than I really should. It's an adiction. So sad to have a monkey on my back like this but I do try to weed back occasionlly. I got 3 in yesterday's mail and that was lovely! I spent a few hours in the sunroom catching up on how a sunroom (and other rooms) could look if I had some time, money and imagination. Oh wait! I'm retired. I think I may have some time! I'll look.

Anyway, no packages today. Very sad, but motivating for tomorrow's bike ride. I'll open the box and there will be a little key from the mail guy. That lets me open a bigger box and behind door #1 (or #2, depending on size) will be my treat! Don't you just love the internet?

Monday, 8 August 2011

Henri and his progeny

This morning I woke to 3 male juvenile pheasants trying to break into my truck. There were 2 in the truck bed, standing on 6 sheets of 3/8" plywood and another on top of the cab flapping his little wings and stomping his feet. Now the girls, they just drop in for the keys. The boys are a little more adventurous.

Two years ago a male pheasant began to hang out in our yard. We have a little more than an acre just outside a lovely city. He was gorgeous, long tailed and technicoloured and flaunted his brilliance by strutting his stuff on top of our bark mulch pile. He would mount this pile hopefully every morning around sunup and crow about his maleness and availability. Sun comes up mighty early and a male pheasant uses a sound like a 20 foot rusty gate swinging open to attract a mate. Did nothing for me. Sadly no mate appeared and Henri, the original Urban Pheasant was destined to be a bachelor, or so we thought.

We were entertained daily by Henri over the summer and into the fall, but he went off wherever (Cuba?) over the winter and we were most surprised to see him again in the garden this spring. Yah! Much more crowing on the mulch pile (more like a compost pile by now) and trips to the local feed store for corn ensued. We had not seen any other pheasants around, ever, and were VERY surprised to eventually see Henri in the garden showing his 3 new wives around the corn pile. He had obviously bargained his corn for a harem. We were thrilled and awaited the arrival of a flock.

The flock appeared! 14 little chicks and their watchful mom arrived soon enough to check out the corn. Our joy was much dampened when my DH reported a pile of pheasant feathers on the highway behind our house. Henri had at least been able to pass on his lineage and corn pile before going on to a just reward somewhere. Is there a pheasant heaven? What's it like?

So now we host a flock. They first just scurried through the grass with mom, but after a few weeks she went the way of all mom's and left the little beasts to forage on their own. Our grass on one side is quite long and doesn't get mowed, and this is the side with the corn pile (4 cups a day, and no more you free loaders!). So as you look out the kitchen window you would see the grass ripple in little zig zaggy lines and little skinny heads would pop up to check for danger. It looked so much like scenes from Jurassic Park that we have taken to calling them 'the velociraptors'. Over the summer they have grown to the size of plump chickens and visit us through the grass several times a day. They also have taken to eating raspberries from my patch and it's hilarious to see them bouncing up and down to grab fruit while the jays dive bomb from above. They do earn their keep though. The way to their fav foods lies through my garden, and I haven't seen a slug or bug since they arrived. Yah!.

So now they've gotten older and bolder. You can see the males getting the start of their tails and practising their aggressive dances. They've tried a takedown on the truck. This is going to be interesting. We already have a set of nesting ducks in their 3rd. year of residence. The groundhog has great grand-groundhogs living under the tree out front. Two chipmunks may be living in the back drainpipe. Don't bring up the deer. He's big and he frightens me. We never mention the raccoons. That would be bad luck I fear.

Now if they could all just convince the deer to leave my strawberries and hostas alone.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Here is the July face. I have great hopes for December maybe. Here I think I look too much like my mother, and as BN would say, I have cat whiskers.

My First Time

I've just retired, and I have a lot on my mind. I want to collect my thoughts, muse a bit, share with friends. It's a bit like I have finally started living, even though that's not even faintly true. This is just a great time for me and I'm learning lots. A blog may be a way of consolidating, reflecting and celebrating what comes. It's for me, but I like to share.

Why does my iPad have the ' on the second keyboard? Makes me want to avoid contractions, it does.

I have decided to record my face each month. I have always been of the opinion that people who retire from teaching grow younger and more radiant over the first year. Empirical evidence is required, methinks. Please pardon the hair. It has a mind of it's own and a haircutter with a flair for the 'je ne sais couix'. How does one spell that?