Tag Archives: outdoors

Sharing My World 28

dryden charles street
This used to be my world. A basement apartment in the early seventies complete with wood panelling and posters. And bare feet. And long hair. And strange things dangling from the green tulip pole lamp.

 

Share Your World 2015 Weeks 17, 18 and 19

Lately, for whatever reasons, I have seriously neglected to share my world.  So today I will share the heck out of it by answering a whopping lucky thirteen questions.  I will try to be brief, but when has that ever happened.

What type of pets do you have or want? Or do you not want pets?

We always had dogs and cats when I was growing up on the farm but I preferred the company of cats. They slobbered less.  The dogs loved my sister, not me.  My husband had a black lab, and then we had two cats for close to 20 years.  After that I killed a Japanese Fighting fish.  It was no match for me.  I like other people’s dogs and cats, but I’m not a great animal care giver, so I don’t think we will have any more pets in our lives.  It’s a big enough challenge looking after each other.

What was or is your favorite cartoon?

I really kind of hate the cartoons we used to watch on tv.  Although maybe hate is too strong a word.  But they always did stress me right out.  Walking off cliffs, getting blown up, having things happen to you that should result in fatal head injuries.  People and animals being insanely rude to each other.  How is any of that funny?

When you’re alone at home, do you wear shoes, socks, slippers, or go barefoot?

Bare feet are the happiest feet.  Except when you get dry, rough, cracked heels.  Or drop heavy pieces of furniture on them.  I still think the risks are worth it.

Are you a traveler or a homebody?

I am the biggest homebody that ever lived.  And yet I have gone places.  The things we do to ourselves.

What is your most favorite smell/scent?

Coffee brewing while bacon sizzles in the pan.  Tomato plants.  Clean laundry fresh off the clothes line.  The sweet smell of new-mown grass.  Whatever that smell is after it rains.  That one is hard to beat.

Do you prefer long hair or short hair for yourself?

My mom gave me dutch boy haircuts until I begged her to let me grow my hair long enough for a pony tail.  Then I chopped it all off super short, but grew it back long and straight in time for fitting in to the long-haired hippy sixties.  W said when he met me my hair was down around the hem of my mini skirt.  That’s an exaggeration.  Although those skirts were pretty damned short.   I loved my long hair, but there comes a point in your life when all it does is drag your face down with it.  So now it’s short again, and likely to remain that way as long as there are scissors in my bathroom.

Do you plan out things usually or do you do them more spontaneous (for example if you are visiting a big city you don’t know?)

I go along with whatever someone else has planned.  That way I can blame other people when I don’t have any fun.

What is your favorite outdoor activity?

Seriously?  Sitting in a lawn chair with my sunglasses on and my eyes closed.

Would you prefer a one floor house or multiple levels?

Multiple levels are ideal when you’re young enough to run up and down all the stair cases without collapsing in a wheezing heap of broken bones.  When we moved in to this house, W took the hand railing off the basement stairs to make it easier to move furniture down there.  He never got around to putting it back, although I have nagged him about it on and off for years.  Late this fall he is going to have hip replacement surgery, and his beloved tv is down those basement stairs.  Stay tuned for further developments.

If you have a TV, would you prefer the TV in the living room or another room?

Well, speak of the devil.  I like it downstairs where I can’t see or hear it.  Especially when W has the remote control.  But I spend a ridiculous amount of time watching Netflix and other stuff on my I-Pad.  The difference is not having to wear my glasses to read the subtitles, and not having to listen to commercials.  Plus watching any stupid thing I please.

When you leave a room, do you turn the lights off behind you or keep the lights on throughout your house most of the time? Explain your answer.

This is turning into a ‘complain about W’ post and he’s not even here to defend himself.  I turn lights on and he turns them off, so I have to turn them on again.  I especially like to leave the lights on at the back door where the railing-less steps go down to the basement.  If I’m going to fall down there and kill myself I’d like someone to be able to see the results.  But he’s away now, so lights are on in all the normally low-light places.  They will remain on until he comes home.  Or the bulbs burn out, whichever comes first.

What’s your favorite room in your home?

I like all the rooms in my house, but spend most of my time in or around the part of the living/dining room that’s been morphed into a little art studio.  I used to spend a lot of time in the bedroom at my computer, but found myself struggling to do things in the living room on my I-Pad instead, even though it took twice as long.  Then I turned my computer desk away from the wall so that it faces the window.  Now I like it here again.  But not as much as where the art is.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful that W finally got everything packed up and ready to go and should be reaching his destination in North Western Ontario sometime today.  I am grateful that I can leave all the lights on now, day and night, and cook things for myself that would cause him great anxiety if he thought I wanted him to eat them.  I’m only looking forward to doing my own shopping because I can now buy turnips without being harassed.

Well!  That’s over a thousand sharing words.  What’s new in your world?  Are you wearing shoes?  Be careful on those stairs.

share-your-world2

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Just Jazzy 222

Jazzy Does 100 Days of Happiness 9

Happiness is moisturizer with sun screen.  Even if you don't spend a lot of time outdoors on purpose, what if you somehow got locked out of your house?  It's good to be prepared.
Happiness is moisturizer with sun screen. Even if you don’t spend a lot of time outdoors on purpose, what if you somehow got locked out of your house? It’s good to be prepared.

Early Morning Tree Climber

Look what I found in my tree this morning.  I thought when I opened the back door he’d leap down and run away, but instead he just lurked there for a bit pretending to be invisible.


After a prolonged staring contest he decided to come down.  Slowly and carefully.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I expect this is what lured him up there in the first place, although I’m pretty sure it’s empty and the birds have flown.


It didn’t look this high from the ground up.  When he made the final leap, again I expected him to take off running (I’m pretty scary, bare feet in the wet grass, pointing and shooting).  Maybe I’d make a great wildlife photographer since nothing seems to be afraid of me.

Strange back yard adventures are exhausting and require a time out and a lie down beside the tiger lilies  to catch one’s breath and decide what’s next on the morning agenda.  Or maybe he was just curious to see what the crazy lady was up to now.  Nothing much, I went back in the house because my coffee was getting cold.  My little back yard intruder got bored and wandered off too.  But not before gazing longingly up into the tree again.  Maybe he’s just casing the neighborhood for bird houses and feeders and the odd squirrel hangout.  He’s in for a surprise if the magpies return.  I’m sure they’ll make it quite clear who was here first.

I Like It Like That

I went for a walk this morning in the misty drizzle.  Older neighborhoods with all their huge trees are delightful, as is walking in the rain.  Except your camera gets wet.  This is the tree in our backyard that W tried to kill a few years back, but it was having none of that.  He had it cut back so low we thought it would die (his marker slipped and the tree trimmers cut it there anyway, probably rolling their eyes in confusion while they did it.)  It’s gone kind of crazy since then, in a magnificent sort of way.  I like it.


This is my street when I’m almost home.  Every time I’m driving it I think I should walk back there and take a picture of it, so today I did.  Even on a cloudy dull day it’s rather beautiful.

Nope, this is not a park, it’s the side yard of the house across the street.  This is what I see when I look out my living room window.  This guy is NOT a tree trimmer.  I like that.

I decided to update my timeline picture on Facebook and this is it, a strange angled shot of the front of our house.

Yes, I have entirely too much time on my hands today.  And speaking of the timeline, I like it.  I have never NOT liked it and in fact I think it’s one of the most likable things they’ve done there.

I like that I’ve got absolutely nothing interesting to say today and filled up some blog space anyway.

Camera Shy Magpie

It’s amazing what two days of rain can do.  Get things really wet, turn things green, make the air smell breathtakingly fresh and clean.

First thing this morning, and I really do mean first thing, around six a.m. before anyone else in the neighborhood or their right minds had even considered getting out of bed, I looked out the bedroom window and saw a magpie strutting about on the back lawn.

It seemed like a brilliant idea at the time to get out there and get some pictures of him.  I don’t know for sure if it’s a “him” or not because male and female magpies look a lot alike, with the female having a more greyish white hood than the male.  Also if there are two of them, the female is the one that’s bossy and aggressive and the male is the one running away.  I’ve noticed that kind of behaviour in other species as well (not mentioning any by name.)

So, there I was, in the backyard sitting in a lawn chair with my coffee in one hand and my camera in the other and the magpie nowhere to be seen.   It’s a little chilly here at six o’clock in the morning.  The ground was still wet, there were little sparrows whipping about, traffic noises to remind me that I’m far from the wilderness, a light breeze and a silent wind chime.  It’s rather boring sitting around waiting for a magpie that refuses to materialize, so I put my inner detective to work to find out what’s up with the stupid wind chime.

And this is what I discovered on the ground beneath it.  With a little bit of rotted string attached.  They really should consider making these things with fishing line to withstand Canadian winters.

The bird feeder is almost empty.  The bird house (on the left up there and pretty much completely cut out of the picture by the side of the garage, is being used by some kind of little birds who are busily coming and going.  The patch of lawn that the meter movers destroyed has approximately four blades of green grass on it struggling to survive.

That magpie is always around when I don’t have my phone or camera handy – on the lawn, on the garage roof, in the bushes, hopping along the fence.  I swear I am not making this up.  But after about twenty minutes of impatient waiting around and with an empty cup and a cold butt I decided to come back inside where it’s warm.  Nope, I would never succeed as a bird watcher.  I’m also having serious second thoughts about this early rising thing.  For one thing, it eliminates the excuse of ‘not enough time’ when I don’t feel like going for a walk.  There’s still hours left in my morning for magpie stalking and other worthwhile pursuits.  Like windchime repair.  Or a nap.  Can my day get any more fascinating I wonder?

Stay tuned for more heart stopping developments.  That magpie could return at any moment.  And I might even be awake to see it and capture it on film.  Or not.  I hope the suspense doesn’t kill you.

D is for Damp

This is the scene that greeted me out the front door a couple of days ago.  If it wasn’t for bringing the paper in I would have been quite happy to just leave the damned door closed.  I’m not even going to talk about the S word in April.  What we’re dealing with here is a kind of sem-solid dense white rain. It’s annoying to slog through but it dissipates quickly.  Although not before some of it’s been soaked up by the bottom couple of inches of your pant legs and seriously messed with your shoes.

All this moisture is of course a good thing.  It’s working hard to turn our brown world to green.  The lawn people have been out and about with a similar objective.  All those bags decorating my front lawn are filled with nasty brown crap that they raked up and SORT OF carried away.  Now the bags are awaiting final pick up (which is scheduled for the middle of May but I’m going to pretend I don’t know that.)  Any day now.  That’s my new mantra.

Damp in this instance is merely dank and extremely dewy.  I will not let it be deadening, demoralizing, diminishing or disheartening.  (Why are there so damned many depressing D words??)  Sorry for saying damned again.  But think about it – Damp You!  just doesn’t have the same effect.

D is also for Draw Something, the App that teaches you very quickly that you have absolutely no talent as an artist and should not quit your day job to take up comic strip writing, even though what you have “drawn” is admittedly hilariously funny.  Just not something you’re likely to get paid for.

Here’s what the world outside my front door looked like early this morning.  I really should be venturing a little farther afield, but that would be risking personal dampness.  Because it rained again.  Look into that not so very distant area to the right across the street and you will see GREEN!  The grass is always greener on the other side of the street.  (And also in southwestern Ontario, but I’ve whined about that too much already.)  What this means is that our grass will eventually green up out of embarassment any day now.  I’m paying people to cut it, so damp it all, bring on the damp.  Just not the opaque stuff, please. I’m kind of done with that.

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.

Y is for Yesteryear

Yesteryear – sometimes feels like yesterday.  Bygone days, days of yore.  Well, in this case, not exactly ancient history, but often time out of mind.  Maybe when my kids remember this they’ll think of it as the good old days.  Or a brief part of their miserable childhoods.  But I hope not.  We had some happy times.

These little scenes of yesteryear are brought to you courtesy of the big red van that took us south and west to the mountains where we spent our family holiday ski weeks.  The body of the van was a piece of junk when we got it, and an even worse pile of crap when we were done with it, but in it’s glory days it was all fixed up to be practically luxurious.  Because W worked on it relentlessly until it had new windows and plush new captains chairs and panelling and privacy curtains and a sky light and a bright red paint job.  I don’t even want to think about the amount of money we poured into that thing, but it went a lot of miles for us and it carried a LOT of stuff.

In the parking lot, after the morning ski, breaking for lunch.  Open up the back doors, and voila – instant outdoor bistro.


Our chauffeur, the infamous W.  We spent all the moola on the vehicle and ski lessons and lift passes.  None left for hair cuts.

     

Kids being kids…give them enough snacks and they’ll stay happy for miles and miles.

Mom being mom.  Probably being asked something cute and endearing from the back seat, like “Can we please skip lessons and just ski all the black diamond runs tomorrow??”  Have to love the ski hat hair and the fat lips.  I always got cold sores from the cold and the sun, so that could be why I look like I’m having the least fun of all of us.

Still, I remember those trips with nostalgic pleasure.  Looking back, never to return.  Filed under Y for yesteryear in my little box of memories.