Sunday, August 13, 2017

that beautiful season

As I walked down the laneway, dogs on their leashes beside me, I was almost overcome by the perfection of the morning. The sun shone brightly with only a few fluffy white clouds on the horizon, the air was soft and warm, the fragrance of honey dripped from the goldenrod. Something else is flowering too, adding a depth to the sweetness in the air. Heavenly.

We completed our walk in bliss and once back in the house I rushed around getting the swing and back deck ready for a lazy day. Grace was equally anxious to get outside, muttering under her breath as we stepped out the door.

The last few days have been much like our other days, a mix of busy and remarkably lazy. I visited my brother on Tuesday, we went shopping on Wednesday (at least I think it was Wed, the days have been blurring together), we visited my brother-in-law on Friday, were lazy on Saturday. I’ve left off Carm’s exertion marathon of grass cutting.

I lamented the other day about not being shoppers and not having that activity to distract us. For one afternoon that was remedied: Wednesday I decided that we’d go to the mall in the hopes of finding one more top for the cruise - the summer stuff should be on sale. In the first store I found a nice, slightly dressy top that will be perfect. We tracked down a changing room and as I stared at the blinding white lump in the mirror I remembered my aversion to shopping… I stuck my head back into the sand and stepped outside the changeroom so Carm could make his proclamation. It was a buy.

I girded my loins (so to speak) and we continued our quest. Maybe we’d find another. In the second store I noticed a bright fuschia top hanging against one wall. The colour caught my eye so I grabbed my size and searched for the change room. Again we found the cash register and walked out of the store with a second bag.

Still we pressed on. I think Carm was on a roll and secretly hoping that we’d never have to come again if we made one more purchase. He was in luck - two more tops were bagged.

This is a big change for me as none of the tops are t-shirts, which is pretty much all I wear. I suppose I am starting to dress my age which totally freaks me out as I’ll be 55 in just over a month. Holy crap. But that’s a whole other topic…

I haven’t been getting on the treadmill but I do have an excuse. Since the hay was cut, I’ve been walking the dogs around the field several times a day. The exercise is good for all of us, plus it’s good mental stimulation for the dogs. Sometimes I walk them around on their leashes, mainly so I’m not standing calling them constantly as they find something else to investigate. It’s also good for them to remember leash walking as in less than a month we’ll be camping!

Sound fills the air. Cicadas are singing. Grace is chatting. Leaves are rustling.

At this exact second in time life is perfect.

Then followed that beautiful season... Summer....
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape
Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.”
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Monday, August 7, 2017

days dash by

I opened the door to September this morning: cool with a bright sparkling sky. I’m holding out hope for more swimming weather near the end of the week - I just bought a new pool noodle to try out!

Yesterday (Sunday), after some futzing around, which included some house cleaning, we decided that we’d like to have company for supper so gave a ring to Peter and Julie. As luck would have it they were free and joined us for a congenial evening. We met up with them not long ago at the Keg where we celebrated our shared anniversary together.


Some of the text below was written on Sunday afternoon, before we cleaned the house and got ready for spur of the moment company. The rest was written the day before that - it is all a jumble and I don’t expect you to read through it.

I wish we were shoppers, you know, the kind of people who are happy wandering around a mall with no goal. It would be good to have something to do when I want to get out of the house, but there is no particular destination. Going out for lunch would be nice, but we are on a serious weight loss program.

Today is cool and windy - a day we’d be happy with if it was October…

When I opened my file to start today’s blog I found a few paragraphs that I had started but never finished. I want to remember some of it so will look back into the past today.

Thursday was a whirlwind of visiting Graham, and then Carm’s mom who is in the hospital. She is safely out, back into the nursing home, and doing well. At 89 even the simplest ailments are serious.

I had started the day Thursday with two small pieces of grilled tofu and by 3pm was faint with hunger. Luckily (?) the hospital has a Tim Hortons so I was able to get a bagel with cream cheese. I should have passed, as not only eating in a hospital a little gross (all those germs - we passed one room that was being cleaned by people with hazmat suits on), but we left for home not long after so I could have saved the calories. Carm is now down 21 lbs, me? only 8…

Saturday we got the grooming table out and gave the poodles haircuts on their faces and bellies. And then everyone got a bath. There wasn’t much happiness in our house yesterday afternoon.

Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.”
~Norman Vincent Peale

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

summer's sweet sensation

I thought I’d stay on the swing and enjoy the light shower - I’d be protected overhead by a small canopy and there was no wind to drive the drops underneath. Then the thunder started and I figured that sitting on a metal swing, under a metal gazebo, would not be the smartest.

We are having another gorgeous day, until now (it’s 2:30pm). Clouds have moved in as forecast - boo hoo. (But wait an hour and the sun is in and out of the clouds.) But no matter the clouds hazing the sky, the air is fragranced by the nectar of so many wildflowers. I stand and breathe in deeply and a feeling of contentment descends.

I don’t know why, but today I am so tired I can barely move - I’ve been like that for a few weeks but today was the worst. Since we’ve drastically cut down salt, I’m wondering if my lithium levels are getting out of whack. The two are tightly bound. I guess I need to find a way to add a little bit of salt to what I’m eating while not increasing Carm’s intake.

I did drag myself into the car for a drive - Carm at the wheel. We picked up dog food in a village about 20 min away, driving down country back roads for a change of scenery. I love the beauty of a rural road with their ditches brimming with wild flowers, and newly cut hay fields stretching out on either side.

I’m making cajun black beans and rice in the instant pot tonight, and cauliflower and zucchini in the actifry. The black beans are cooking now - it is a bit of an experiment with cooking them partway from dry so I can finish them with the rice. We shall see. I’ve never had much luck cooking dried beans in the ancient past and had given up trying. Since we got the Instant Pot I’ve done romano and chickpeas with great success.

The luxury of all summer's sweet sensation is to be found when one lies at length in the warm, fragrant grass, soaked with sunshine, aware of regions of blossoming clover and of a high heaven filled with the hum of innumerous bees.”
~Harriet E. Prescott

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

lie sometimes on the grass under the trees

Grace crunches her dried pellets, a slight breeze ruffling her feathers. The pellets are a treat for her when she is outside - I think it must be like us eating a bowl of popcorn or other crunchy treat. Usually she eats people food.

It is a beautiful summer day with a bit more heat than we’ve been having. We had scheduled a picnic along the Rideau waterway for today, but decided to save it for a day that isn’t so hot. These sultry days are treasures for lazily reading (and writing!) on the swing, with an occasional dip into the pool. The pool liner is blue which makes the water look like an exotic sea set in a field of grass and wild flowers.

After making all that pesto yesterday I felt that it was only fair to invite Trudie & Leo over for supper. Half of what we ate came from their garden: new potatoes, zucchini (done in the actifry), the pesto that was slathered on the pasta. Oh to be able to have a summer meal in the winter with vegetables fresh from the garden!

I made hard-boiled eggs in the Instant Pot today - wow. Easy to peel and perfectly done - yolks were creamy but firm. No guessing, just 5-5-5 (five minutes at high pressure, 5 minutes natural release, then 5 minutes in icy water.) I may have been imagining it, but these were especially delicious.

I do wonder how I cooked before the Instant Pot and Actifry!

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the blue sky, is by no means waste of time.”

~John Lubbock