Sunday, September 7, 2014

Lazing around

I've wanted more backyard furniture for a while, and once I bought the screen house, it was time.

I considered a bunch of options, and eventually decided to use the two pallets left over from the raised garden beds I made a couple of years ago. I started by building legs out of 2x4s, then I sanded down a pallet and painted everything.

I attached the legs to the pallet. This also gave me the advantage of being able to use the pallet as a workbench.

I added the frame for the back. (Did I mention that this was my first time using pocket holes?)

It took me a while to decide what I wanted to do for the back. Eventually I decided on 2x2s.

Then it was just a little paint and it was done.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Tales from the backyard

It feels like my summer has consisted of being sick, being sick, having company, and being sick. Not my best summer, is what I'm saying. (Because of the multiple viruses, not because of the company - the company was awesome.)

I did manage to do a few things around the house, though.

First of all, I planted tomatoes. We're right in the midst of tomato season, and they're awesome. 


 One one side of the house is an area that traditionally has been filled with weeds. It also contained the wheelbarrow I found behind the shed. After looking at it, I decided it was trash, and got rid of it this year. Then I pulled the weeds, put down newspaper, and covered it with mulch. Hopefully that will keep the weeds down for a while.

The backyard faces south, and it's usually too hot to use, so I started thinking about getting a gazebo. They're expensive, though, and a lot of work, so while I'm deciding what I ultimately want to do back there, I bought an awesome umbrella.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The visit

My mom and my niece B came to visit about ten days ago, and this time they brought my cousin's two girls, Star and Sky.

They had barely arrived when Star managed to get a nail though her shoe into her foot. I got to call her parents and say "they arrived. Also, for no particular reason, has Star had a tetanus shot?"

Day two we went to a paint-your-own-pottery place,  then my cousin arrived from Toronto. We spent the rest of the day close to home. I believe this was the day B skinned her knee.

Day three we went downtown (some of us on the bus) and saw the changing of the guard, toured the Parliament Buildings, and went to the market. No injuries.

Monday was Calypso, even though it was cold. (No lines!) Star scaped the bottom of her toe just before we left. Oh, and Wanda hurt her feet and spent the next few days hobbling around.

Tuesday morning, Sky woke me up around two because her ear was hurting. I gave her a painkiller and sent her to bed. It was better In the morning, which was good, because it was activity day. We made marshmallow catapults, bouncy balls, doll blankets, and rain. We stuck skewers in ziplock bags of water, stood on eggs, and blew up balloons with nerds and soft drinks. Also, B's mother joined us for supper, as she was unexpectedly in Ottawa for work. I think this might be the day Star stubbed her toe on the grass.

Wednesday, we went shopping, then out for supper one last time before B's mother went home.

Thursday, we went out to Star and Sky's great aunt's cottage. A lot of their relatives from that side of the family came out, so they were able to meet them, and they got to go in the kayak and inflatable boat in between rain showers. Just for fun, Sky stubbed her toe badly enough that it had to be taped up. I don't know that it was broken, but I don't know it wasn't. (Her great aunt is a nurse, so she did the taping.)

Friday, we went ringette shopping, stopped at Black's rapids for a few minutes to walk over the locks, and Wanda got stung by a wasp. After that fun, we went to the museum of science and technology. I got all the girls passes to the Saskatchewan science center for Christmas, which meant they could get in for free here. They made water rockets, ran on the hamster wheel, stumbled thorough the crazy kitchen, and walked through the trains. We then stopped at Hog's Back park, where they climbed an awesome climbing tree and no one got hurt.

And then Friday night, my niece and Star went to the park and B banged her foot on a metal bar. She hopped home, and I put ice on it. After fifteen minutes, I took the ice off and told her to stand up. There was an audible pop and she screamed.

And then she said "Auntie Colette, my foot is going numb".

It turns out the line between "suck it up" and "we are going to the hospital now" is just past "my foot is going numb and I can't wiggle my toes". I googled the address of the children's hospital and piggy-backed her to the car as Sky said "I'm dizzy."

As we checked in, the person registering us out me as a contact on B's file, since B's mom was back home. I said "good, I'm her favourite auntie", and B said - as always - "nope, you're not even on the list". The woman registering us gave me a bit of a look, and we had to explain that this is normal.

Less than two hours later, the doctor explained that it was a sprain and should be better within a day. Frankly, I didn't believe him. (I was ok with the sprain part, but who has ever heard of a sprain healing in two days?)

Saturday morning, Sky again complained about being dizzy, so we were off to the medi-clinic to deal with her ear infection. B came with us, hopping all the way, and sometime while we were getting Sky's prescription filled, B's foot got better - not 100%, but enough that she could walk. Yay! (Also, apologies, CHEO doctor.)

We had a little time in the afternoon, so we headed to Brittania beach. Since there was a Muslim festival going on, we had to park a ways away and take the shuttle. Luckily, the shuttle was a double-decker bus, so that was fun.

Sunday we took the train to Montreal, where we walked through Old Montreal and went to that science center. B's foot was hurting, so we didn't get to see as much as we might have otherwise, but they enjoyed it.

Monday, we played glow-in-the-dark mini-golf, and then decided to go back to the beach. Sadly, that's when the thunder storm hit, so Wanda took the girls to a movie instead. (No one got hit by lightning.)

This morning, everyone packed, then we took the bus downtown to meet Wanda for lunch, because she went back to work today. After lunch, we had a bit of rest time before it was time to go. We were halfway to the airport when we realized B forgot her ipad. I dropped them off, and mom got them checked In and in the line for security while I raced home. I made it back and gave the ipad to mom, who made it through the line for security with minutes to spare.

I'd better be on the list now.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Fan of the fan

This weekend, I bought a new fan.

I know, the excitement never ends around here.

(Personally, I found it exciting that I was functional all weekend, but I understand other people are not as thrilled with that as I was.)

Anyway, I love the fan. It's my favourite thing. It's a tower fan, and it's quiet, which makes the timer function really handy so it isn't running 24/7.

I don't run the air conditioning during the day when I'm not here, so it's nice to come home and turn on the fan.

It even makes shredding less awful. I really need to start doing that every year or so. (I am currently shredding cheques with my old address on them. I moved 14 years ago.)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

I've had my blood pressure taken 14 times in the last three weeks

Two and a half weeks ago, I fainted in the shower. My first though was "something really bad has happened". My second thought was "I was in the middle of doing something, what was it?" My third thought was "wait ... Am I lying down in the shower?"

This is, apparently, a big deal.

I went to the doctor, and she ordered a bunch of tests (and ran me though six cycles of the blood pressure machine). I was banned from driving, as well.

I'd fainted on Sunday, and it didn't get in to the doctor until Wednesday. (Yes, I should probably have gone to the ER, but ... I didn't.)

On Thursday, I had book club, and I wasn't really feeling well, but I was tired, and I figured that's just how it goes.

On Friday, I went to work, and I lasted two hours. One of my coworkers drove me home. I spent the rest of the day resting.

For the next five days, I felt like someone had reached into my abdomen and squeezed my stomach every time I sat up or stood.

In the meantime, I had figured out that whatever was going on was something I'd caught. And I remembered that the three weekends immediately before getting sick, I had been outside. 

In Wednesday, I felt a little better so I went back to the doctor to make sure it wasn't West Nile or Lyme disease. The doctor agreed that it was a virus but didn't think additional testing was required.

 (Did I mention that I was off work last week? I was.)

For the next few days, I could sit up a little, but I had no energy.

On Sunday afternoon, I finally felt better.

I went back to the doctor today to confirm everything was ok. I had to leave early to catch all of the bus connections, so I didn't sleep well. The good news is that shre gave me the go-ahead to resume my normal activities.

The bad news is that the lack of sleep means today was not a good day.

Apparently, there's a nasty virus going around. But then I already knew that.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Canoe camp

This weekend was canoe camp. We travelled on the Rideau canal:

We left on Friday from Edmunds lock station and paddled to Kilmarnock.

Saturday morning, we got up and went through the lock on our way to Merrickville. It was a little cold and it rained on the way, but we persevered. By the time we got through all three locks in Merrickville, it was 4:30. The girls went off on a scavenger hunt in town.

Sunday morning, we were back on our way. We went through three more locks on our way to Burritts Rapids and arrived before one. By 2:30 we had everything packed up and the girls started to leave.

It was a good trip.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Uninvited guests

When Wanda and I went to Florida, we came back to find the garbage can tipped over and the garbage bag ripped open. Wanda cleaned it up and discovered that something had chewed a hole in the lid.

I decided to do nothing about it.

The garbage has been tipped over a couple of times since then, which is more than usual.

And then tonight I was walking into the backyard when I heard a rattling sound. I look over at the garbage can, which was beside the BBQ. The can was upright but the lid was on the ground.

I walked over and nestled inside was a young raccoon.

I might have yelped.

I think it's time to buy a new garbage can.

(The raccoon was annoyed at being asked to leave, but he left.)