Thursday, June 27, 2013

End of June Approacheth

Biggus Lunkus arrived home Sunday evening. Ducky decided I am "chopped liver" now. Usually it's Scott who is second choice for a lap. Now he's relegated to third and I am second.

Dad was out for a visit and lunch yesterday, and we have the Engdahl family reunion starting tomorrow night. It will be a busy weekend. Sister Joan and family will arrive today or tomorrow but will stay at Karen's ... very wise, as they will be much better fed! And more comfortably housed too. I still feel like we are half-camping at our place, and there are definitely no luxuries. Karen's new house sits on the lakeshore and overlooks ducks, geese and so on, on the water right in front. Quite lovely. And she pulls off big tasty meals without a second thought. Me, it was all I could do to come up with a chicken sandwich for Dad yesterday!

I am still without a vehicle and beginning to find it inconvenient. Up till now I could work around Scott's schedule when I needed to go somewhere. But lately he's at it from early till late and every day of the week, so I've been feeling stranded when there was something I really wanted or needed to do during business hours. Even shopping for vehicles is nearly impossible, as it's so time-consuming if you have to travel any distance to look at a possibility. I have put the word out to my family and in the past 24 hours they have brought two options to my attention, so who knows, I may have wheels again soon to go gallyvanting about. It would get Emil off my back! He doesn't let up about how he wishes I had a car so we could go places and do what we want when we want. When he wants, maybe I should say.

In the meantime my sister-in-law kindly lent me her little car on Tuesday to go to the dentist in Wynyard to get prepped for a crown. I spent two hours in the dentist's chair and came home with a nasty headache. Had to take a pill and go straight to bed. Apparently I have a tiny jaw/mouth and that extended the time required in the chair. Even the dentist worked up a sweat, trying to deal with that back molar. It was a bit of an ordeal; not painful, just fairly uncomfortable for far too long. I was never so glad to get something over with (except Everett's birth; it still surprises me that anyone decides to put herself through labour and birth a second time, once she knows what it's like). The next appointment, to fit the new crown, should only take a half-hour. I hope!

Woodticks are still a big problem here because we have a lot of long grass around the farmyard. One walk through the pasture behind our house, and I was picking ticks off myself for the rest of the day. I also got THREE bites, and one of them acted up. So I'm on antibiotics and cannot even have an alcoholic beverage this weekend. Oh well. It's not like I'm a big drinker anyway, but when you can't have something ... heh heh. Actually I won't miss a drink one bit. I imbibe so infrequently these days that one drink is usually all I can handle anyway without getting silly and acting like an Engdahl! Just kidding. My Engdahl relatives like to have a couple drinks and some fun around the campfire, but they are a fun-loving bunch even without the booze and no one seems to overdo it in the first place. I'm looking forward to seeing them all.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Blue Heron in Tree

Blue heron on left, redtailed hawk on right
A great blue heron in a tree seems just plain "clumsy" (Scott's word); I find it strange too. But they do nest in trees, after all.

Emil got his bakery visit after all, with his grandpa yesterday. He had what we call a "cheat" weekend, eating dairy and sugary delights.

It was a long day, but pleasant. The sky was grey for the first part, and blue and white in the later afternoon, and always comfortably warm if you weren't in the shade of a tree or building. The garage sale was well attended, the girls didn't need my help but were gracious enough to say they appreciated the company, and although Emil and I left with Dad for a couple hours in the afternoon, we went back with Scott to have supper with them after they'd pulled down the garage door.

This morning I am figuring out where to put the boxful of treasures I brought back. In our home and yard there will be some nice reminders of their mom, Lily, whose husband's parents I remember from when I was a very small girl in Margo, visiting my own grandparents. And whose father was a regular customer back in the day when I worked as a clerk at Jerry's General Store in Kuroki.


The news from Alberta is horrible; my heart goes out to everyone affected by the disastrous flooding. What a reminder of how quickly and drastically everything around you can change.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Mother of 25-Year-Old Man

It's a rainy morning and we are off to Kuroki to help Scott's cousins with a yard sale at their mom's house. They have undertaken the difficult task of sorting through and organizing everything after her recent passing, and I offered to be there in case ... well, in case of whatever. I imagine it won't be easy to watch strangers picking through possessions that your mother may have been using just a couple weeks ago. If I am there, at least the girls can go into the house if there are tough moments.

Dad arrived yesterday from Kelowna. He had stopped in Cranbrook, Okotoks, Calgary and North Battleford on his way, and said the flooding all occurred just after he left an area so the rain may be right behind him. Anyway we had a nice little visit in the afternoon and he has gone on to Margo to stay with Karen.

It was Emil's 25th birthday yesterday and, without a vehicle to drive, I was unable to pick him up and do something to celebrate. We had planned a trip to the Wadena Bakery for a "treat," and were going to go out to Missy's restaurant (it belongs to my niece) at Margo for supper too. But Scott needed the truck to work, so Emil had to swallow his disappointment. He was picked up after he'd eaten supper, and brought out here, and I promised we'd still do those things — but it will have to be when I have wheels.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thankful for the Rain

A rainy day is perfectly welcome these days, now that the seeds are in the ground and they need it.
Although we've had some, and could do with sunshine and heat now, instead.

These days without work are as full as they ever were. How did I ever squeeze paying work in?

There are times when Scott could use my help on worksites. I had a previous engagement the other day when he asked if I'd go do some painting that afternoon, but there was a little heartlift when the opportunity was presented.  Apparently I would like to put my painting clothes on again. There is at least one hanger in the closet holding favourite wornout, stained-up clothing, kept for just such an occupation.

I've always avoided helping Scott on his worksites, for various reasons. One is the simple fact that it could mean too much togetherness, although because of his schedule we only see each other for a short while before he leaves in the mornings, and a couple hours in the evening.

Now I'm glad to spend less time sitting in this chair, and the idea of physical labour is more appealing than ever. Even if it means me and the lad are in each others' faces too much. But we shall see.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

So Who Can You Trust For Good Sustainable Tea? Twinings.

Woodland anemone under the maple tree

Thanks to Rob Crew for the link to this article: Dangerously High Pesticide Levels In Celestial Seasonings Teas

All the more reason to go outside and pick your own tea fixins.

There are some ideas here:

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Adult Stuff and Kid Stuff

We attended a family funeral (for a cousin of Scott's dad's) in Kuroki this week. In the above photo is a piece of history from "back in the day," installed on a back wall of the town hall.

The next day, my highschool partner-in-crime made an overnight visit from her present home in Swift Current. It was wonderful to have her here for more than a few hours and no, we didn't get into any trouble. Not at all. Not one bit. Uh uh. Nope. All grown up now. No more silliness. Right, Kim?

How do you like my farmer hat from Fairy Glen, next to the lamp? I wear it when, if watching TV, the overhead light in the kitchen is on and glaring in my eyes. Doesn't Fairy Glen sound like a nice place to go? Although I hear there's nothing there anymore but a bulk fuel station.

Didn't get a decent pic; here Scott and Kim chat while I get my PJs on and sneak around the corner with the camera.
Over the past two days we've had a good downpour; over an inch. More in some places. We needed it badly. Now it can stop and make way for some heat. The painted daisies have begun to open and a day of sunshine will make them brilliant.

The third farmers' market that I've attended (yesterday, as a vendor) was another "slow" one. I enjoyed my time there anyway and got to see Kim's parents for a few minutes when she brought them in for a quick hello. They were in town for a relative's memorial service. Their home was my second home when we were teenagers. Spent a hell of a lot of time there. Snuck in and out her bedroom window many times when coming and going at odd hours and not wanting to disturb the adults.

You know. Kid stuff.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Plumber Boy

"I should have known better than to do this on a weekend," he said, when things went awry.
FarmerBoy replaced the old toilet.
Is there anything a farmerboy can't do?

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Ants Live Under Rocks

Our outbuildings from the neighbours' driveway, just north of us. The tin is tearing off the chicken coop roof. Good thing we have none.
Another perfect day to be outside.
Last fall when the yard was torn up I picked up the larger stones and laid them in a border along the front curve of the perennial bed. That was a mistake; ants like to live under rocks. So I've just filled the little rusty child's-wagon three times and hauled those rocks out of there, then sprinkled cornmeal on the soil to decimate the ant colonies. It's not like they don't have acres of other places to build their dwellings.

Emil is calling; he needs help with his physio.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Sunny Days, Sunny Sunny Sunny Dayays

Another little something from Grandma Benson's china cabinet. Since taking this pic, I have dug up a proper-sized serving spoon.
We've had good weather this past week, so I'm not in the house or at the computer much. Now that two of my jobs have come to an end, there is no need. Besides, there will be rainy days when there's no choice. We hope. We need moisture now.

I escape from the hot sun just enough to be on top of the dishes and to be eating fabulously (though plain fare) well. Today I made crackers.

There has been time to get another chapter of Uncle Carl's memoir read (Annette, what's the holdup with yours?) and to take a small tub of soapy water out to the camper and start scrubbing out the winter's dust and dead flies and spiderwebs, and give the outside windows a swipe.

Only two pots of perennial yellow daisies remain to put into the ground. But where, I am asking, where? The flower bed is so packed with my lovelies. The oriental poppies will bloom any day, and soon the painted daisies. Oh it will be dazzling. I can hardly wait.

Talked to Everett for two hours on the phone yesterday. He has no summer job in Edmonton yet, but doesn't want to come out here because "You wreck my psyche" and "You drive me crazy" and "You don't leave me alone" and so on and so forth. I assume there are few 20-yr-old lads who want to spend a lot of time around the farmhouse with their mother. On the other hand, how many of them talk to her on the phone for two hours? I figure we get along great. He says he can't stand the sight of my face.

Sigh. This too shall pass. Recently I dreamt that when I saw him, I wept with happiness. Guess I have to take what I can get.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Demon Heifers

Uff da! It's been a while.
I was down with a migraine for THREE FRICKEN DAYS and since then it's been warm enough that the great outdoors has kept me busy transplanting, watering, and hoeing.
Not to mention that, when taking breaks from the sun, I've been in the kitchen making a marinade for steak, making hamburger patties to freeze, making ketchup, making lentil-herb soup, making slowcooker beans ... and of course, doing dishes 10,000 times a day.
And today, I washed the inside of the window over the kitchen sink. Next: put in the screen and get that sucker opened up!