Tag Archives: calendar

Still Sparkling

Before checking my e-mail this morning I made a solemn promise to myself to answer the Daily WordPress Prompt no matter what.  Every day I read it and have good intentions, but we all know the place to which good intentions are paving the road.  This road is also crowded with people who write awkward sentences and take a long time to get to the point.

Sparkling or Still

What’s your idea of a perfect day off: one during which you can quietly relax, doing nothing, or one with one fun activity lined up after the other? Tell us how you’d spend your time.

At the risk of boring you into a coma, here goes.  Hey, it’s not like I’ve duct taped you to a chair in my living room where you feel obligated to choke down a bad cup of coffee and pretend to listen.  Although that’s how you may feel.

I have been successfully retired for fifty days.  That’s almost two months of continuous days off, and that makes me a self-proclaimed expert on the subject.  Quietly relaxing doing nothing is a fun activity for me, so I choose both answers simultaneously.

My typical day starts with coffee consumed while I scroll through all the e-mails I get from the best of the blogs I follow.  This can take a long time, depending on how interesting you all have decided to be on any particular day.  November has been a crazy month with everyone posting like mad.  I’m anticipating less activity in December when we’re all in Christmas mode.  Even if you don’t celebrate it, it’s pretty hard to ignore altogether.

W finishes reading the paper and most mornings wanders off to the kitchen, eventually interrupting me after making breakfast to tell me to come and cook my own eggs.  He just can’t make himself mutilate eggs the way I do.  Broken, flipped and cooked to death should be a choice in all breakfast restaurants.

If either of us has somewhere to go, we get our act together and do that.  If we don’t, the best way to spend an afternoon for me is messing around in my art room.  Messing around is no vague term.  Sometimes I share my mess, sometimes I don’t.  There was this one oil pastel thing I did that was so hideous I threw it out.  Picture an alien with green eyes and hair on fire.

I also read real books or something on my kindle, clean up, play some word games, write some kind of nonsense on my blog, drum up some ambition to make something for dinner, make lists.  Yes, there are days when I don’t leave my house.  I refuse to feel bad about this, although I will admit some form of physical exercise will have to make it on to one of my lists soon.  Up and down the stairs fifteen times a day should count for something in the meantime.

WAKE UP!  I’m still talking to you.  Don’t you want to hear how I spend my evenings??  They’re more or less a repeat of the afternoons, actually.

Some days I wonder if they miss me at work.  Then I read Dilbert on my page a day calendar and think – nope – probably not.

dilbert nov 20 001
Today is our anniversary so we will probably go out to eat somewhere.  We also know there’s a bunch of leftovers in the fridge and neither of us would care if we opted for that instead.  It’s quite delightful to have days stretch ahead of me which I can fill with whatever I want.

Okay, duct tape is going in the garbage and you’re free to go.  I’ll finish up the coffee.  Draw a couple of flaming red-haired elves.  Try not to get too stressed out by all the excitement in my mad and crazy life.

I worked hard for this!  I’m going to enjoy every single fun and relaxing minute of it.

nano

Hello First Monday in October

Ha! Just showing you I figured out what day it is.

october 005
Watercolor inspired by a Pinterest pin, so not exactly original. Okay, not original at all, but it is my painting and my photo. Let’s just call it “bird with killer eyelashes” and file it under P for practice.

This morning I looked at my calendar, located Monday, and marvelled that it was already the 8th of October.  Except that it’s not.  Time stands still when you neglect to flip your calendar.  Yep, STILL stuck on September.

So that’s been rectified.  Yay me.  We’ve had guests this past week, including this lovely lady.  october 004She’s not that spooky in real life.

On the weekend we removed a very old hide-a-bed from our spare room and replaced it with a queen Ikea bed.  It was either that or risk inflicting back problems and insomnia on everyone concerned.  I suppose we could have opted for something more expensive and comfortable (although even a straw mattress on the floor would probably have been an improvement) but this way no one will be tempted to over stay their welcome, right?   Come to think of it, my cooking might have that problem covered already.

Also this morning, on the 6th, not the 8th, I donned my  long neglected running shoes (which I had to rummage around in the closet to find) and went for a walk.  No one is more surprised by this than me.  It’s a gorgeous fall day!  Sunny and windy and warm.

october 019october 008I saw a lot of trees.  But not one of those painted birds.  A chickadee flew right past my head into a spruce tree and refused to come out and strike a pose for me.  Nevertheless,  the wind and the sun and the fresh air and sunshine blew the cobwebs out of my blogging brain and this mish-mash of a post is the result.

It includes everything but the kitchen sink and a recipe.  I’ll fix the recipe part of that by giving you a list of smoothie ingredients:

  • blueberries
  • fennel
  • cucumber
  • spinach
  • kale
  • apple
  • lemon
  • banana
  • avocado
  • cinnamon
  • ginger
  • turmeric
  • coconut water

Yes, I drank that, and yes, I am still alive.  It tasted great, even with the cucumber, which normally I find remarkably yech and try to avoid,  but mixed up with all the other stuff it’s barely discernible.  The only good cucumber is a pickled one.  (Pickles in a smoothie??  Huh.  Maybe not.)

And on that note, adieu for today.  Tomorrow I might be more focused, but I’m not making any promises.

october 016
I call this “Dead Grass and New Growth in the Autumn Sunshine Along a White Picket Fence”. Anything can be art as long as you give it a long enough name.

 

What I Did on the First Day of Spring

first day of spring

I swore a lot.

You know, just for the record, way back in the day when I was young Spring didn’t officially begin until the twenty-first day of March.  When things change I always like to find someone to blame for it, and in this case it’s astronomers and calendar manufacturers and people with a warped sense of humor.

Spring is currently being reduced by approximately one minute per year and winter by about one-half minute per year. Summer is gaining the minute lost from spring, and autumn is gaining the half-minute lost from winter. Winter is the therefore the shortest astronomical season, and getting shorter all the time.

If you don’t believe that, good for you.  It doesn’t sound even remotely realistic to me either, especially when I’m looking out the kitchen window at eight o’clock in the morning on the 20th of March at a raging blizzard.

So back to the swearing part of my day.  W has already replaced my winter tires with summer tires because it’s what he does every March just before a major snow squall.  There’s no reasoning with him on this so I don’t even bother anymore.  I just get in my car and drive all over the road cursing non stop for however long it takes me to get where I’m going.  It’s good that I get this out of my system before I start work.  And that no one has to listen to it but me.  It’s therapeutic.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

So I did make it through the crappy weather to my destination where I worked all day.  Then I did some grocery shopping and drove home on mostly bare roads because the snow melts more quickly when a lot of maniacs are driving their cars on it.  And I made a big pot of chili.  Because it’s the first day of Spring and we need to eat something hot to thaw us out.

spring 001
I also took this lovely spring picture in our back yard.  I think the icicles on the lawn chair are a nice touch.  I’m not sure why the little tables are on top of the chairs but I’m sure W would have some crazy long and detailed explanation for it if I were foolish enough to ask him about it.  So I won’t.

I’m not convinced that today was a real spring day.  Maybe it’s still supposed to be the twenty-first after all and tomorrow we’ll get a better surprise.

Of Madmen and Poets

IMG_0154

This lover sincerely thanks all the mad men, wise men and lucid poets of the world for their various talents and areas of expertise.

From a procrastination point of view, these last couple of days have been wildly successful.  I can’t think of one thing I’ve accomplished that’s worth talking about.  My house has been cleaned, but I didn’t contribute to that except for writing a cheque.  W has arrived back home after closing up and winterizing everything on the island.  Notice how I left well before any of that had to be done.

Although it’s been only a couple of days, I am sadly missing a former co-worker who was a ray of sunshine in an otherwise often dull and cloudy workplace.  Maybe I’ll start marking big X’s on my calendar to count off the days I have left.  You know how prisoners keep track of their confinement time.

Or I could snap out of this lethargic state.  There’s an idea.  Already W is wanting his grocery and to-do lists and I had forgotten how nice it is to have someone else around to do all that tedious stuff.  It’s crisp and cold outside and therefore time to start burning some candles inside and basking in their warm glow.  The flames make a nice sparkly reflection on a wine glass.  I’m going to add “case of red wine” to the grocery list and see what happens.

And one day soon all these bazillions of books I’ve been reading could stand some one-sentence reviews.  Man my life is hard.  I don’t know how I keep up.

Anyway, Cheers everybody!  Let’s all be lovers, and have a fantastic weekend.

Supper Sunset Series 03
Supper Sunset Series 03 (Photo credit: smilla4)

A Wet and Windy Working Wednesday

Happy 4th of July to my American friends.  There will be no picnics in our immediate vicinity today with wind and rain and generally nasty summer weather which had me closing all the windows last night.  How gloomy and grim.  And cold!  July is not supposed to be this cold.  It will all blow east as it always does and we’ll be sitting in the sunshine again tomorrow.

Only people who know the words to America the Beautiful will get this silly cartoon.  It turned up on my calendar today and made me laugh out loud.  Nope, some days it doesn’t take much at all.

Inspiration comes from mysterious sources.

Today I think I will remember to take my umbrella from the front seat of the car.  The short walk in the parking lot to get to it last night was a drizzly and dripping one.  Not drenching, but close enough.  A windshield wipers full on drive home.  A two blanket sleep with the windows closed.  Mother Nature is messing with our heads.  When the temperature shoots back up to the mid thirties and I’m comatose in the heat I will try to remember this damp and dewy day.

Gnome Gets a Facelift

On this blustery day in April we woke up to discover a completely blank space on the calendar next to the number ten.  The house was freezing cold, the wind was blowing and a wet snow was coming down so it was nice to know we didn’t have to venture out into that nonsense.

Around nine in the morning we noticed a new orange cat huddled on a plant shelf next to the hot tub.  He seemed happy enough and out of the wind and in no hurry to go anywhere.  Like home, wherever that might be.  He has been there now for over twelve hours, sleeping, grooming himself, staring off into space and doing whatever else it is cats do when they decide to drive you nuts by appearing to be doing nothing at all.  Perhaps he thinks he’s found an orange cat refuge and is going to wait us out to see if we’ll break down and feed him.  I expect he’ll be gone in the morning.  He has too much white on his chest to truly belong, although that would be a big plus for me to be able to recognize at least one of these beasts on sight.

So what do you do on a cold spring day?

You round up a couple of weathered lawn ornaments and get out your paints.  The deer required only a new coat and some sprucing up, but the reclining gnome was obviously more of a challenge.  He came this close to being tossed in the trash.  Good thing the weather stayed rotten.  We also painted a box and some little bird houses but these two took up the bulk of our afternoon.

No real change in the deer except for looking a bit more alert, but the gnome is unrecognizable as his former self.


He’s almost cute!  As far as garden gnomes go.  Now he can peek out from underneath the bushes and not scare people to death.  Or maybe that’s hoping for too much.

Of course the rest of the day was quite anticlimactic after the gnome painting concluded.  We ate dinner and watched a movie and checked on the strange cat AGAIN.  Even tried to frighten it away but it just stares and stretches and turns the other way on the shelf and resumes it’s marathon nap.

I’m not sure how tomorrow could possibly be more exciting than today.  There are a number of things jotted down on the calendar for the 11th and not one of them involves dealing with flower bed decorations of any sort.  And so far, no mention of finding a new home for a wandering cat either.  Once he sees the gnome he’ll no doubt head off on his own.

It’s suddenly June and….

…..another month bites the dust.  W. has been gone since the 10th of May (returning tomorrow), and I’ve had pneumonia.  But that’s cleared up and I’m now fighting mere allergies.  Which have my head completely plugged up, ears and all, even with a cortisone nasal spray and an inhaler on a daily basis.  Boo hoo, poor me.  Actually it’s getting better, but I like to milk these things for all they’re worth.

Dream Fairy
Dream Fairy (Photo credit: Alexandria LaNier)

I continue to read until my brain hurts.  I’ve done some amazing spring cleaning, store-room and various junk collecting spots (I’m embarrassed to admit they’re EVERYWHERE in this house…) and I’ve probably developed a severe reaction to dust along with all the pollen in the air.  A little air purifier and a cool air humidifier are supposed to help me sleep, but I’m wondering if all the noise they make is counter productive.  And I’m also trying to figure out why I get my second wind at this time of night so that I don’t feel even remotely like sleeping, and then it’s a huge struggle to get myself moving in the morning.My page a day forgotten English calendar has generally been boring the hell out of me, except for this wonderful little gem from the 18th of May, which was the birthday of Elias Ashmole (1617-1692).  What an unfortunate name.  The word for the day is pigwidgeon – “a kind of cant word for anything petty or small;  a fairy. ”  Since when are fairies petty??  Maybe they meant to say pretty.  “The word is of obscure origin and meaning.  Some have identified it with the name of a fairy knight favoured by Queen Mab, the wife of Oberon.”  (A fairy knight??) That just seems wrong.

Anyway, all that aside, Elias wrote a manuscript titled “An excellent way to get a fairy”, which reads:

“First, get a broad, square crystal, in length and breadth three inches, and lay it in the blood of a hen three Wednesdays or three Fridays.  Then take it out and wash it in Holy Water and fumigate it.  (Sounds pretty easy so far, right??  Crystals, hen blood and holy water being common household items.  I’m puzzled about the fumigator though, but that can probably be googled.)  Then take three hazel rods of a year’s growth, peel them fair and white, and write the fairy’s name, which you call three times, on every stick being made flat one side.  (So if you don’t know the fairy’s name, at this point you’re in big trouble).  Then bury them under some hill whereas you suppose fairies haunt the Wednesday before you call her; and the Friday following, call her three times at eight, or three, or ten of the clock.  (What kind of hills do fairies haunt?  Are they the size of ant hills?  or potato hills? or foot hills?  This is why I can never be good at this.  I just don’t know.)  But when you call, be in Clean Life and turn thy face towards the east; and when you have her, bind her in that crystal.”

Is it just me, or do you think there’s a couple of steps missing there at the end?  And after the mysterious binding, then what?  What exactly do you do with your crystal bound fairy?  Although this all at first seems like a LOT of information, apparently I need more.  And some motivation would be good too.  Otherwise I think I’ll just let the fairies get on with whatever it is fairies do and leave them alone.  Besides, Mr Ashmole never says in so many words that this excellent method actually works, and he does throw in a lot of tricky conditions that set you up for failure.  Like if your hazel tree is under a year old or your watch is wrong, the whole project is doomed.

And speaking of doomed projects, I’ve decided to take up painting again!  So far I’ve bought some new paints and a couple of boards and have drawn two outlines on them.  Whew.  All that in just over a week!  Now I need to decide on a place to start the actual painting without taking up a ridiculous amount of space and making a colossal mess.  Where the light is good.  In a chair that’s comfortable and where the table doesn’t wobble.  And a lot more conditions too numerous to get into.  I’ll get back to you on how that’s going.  Three Wednesdays from the next rainy Friday, if not sooner.