Monday, January 4, 2021


For Christmas, I got a kit to build a ukulele. I was super excited about it.

The bare ukulele kit
First, I painted it. I drew criss-crossing lines on the ukulele, then painted each section a different colour. After that dried, I pained black lines of various widths between the colours. I added one coat of varnish - I didn't want to varnish too much since it might affect the sound.

Then I assembled it. It wasn't difficult, but some instructions would have been nice!

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Goodbye, 2020

 This has been quite an unusual year, so I wanted to look back on what happened.

In January, my Girl Guide trip to Yellowknife was (finally!) approved, and we started fundraising. We had a craft night in February, and started running escape rooms. 

And then in March, the pandemic hit. I started working from home; Girl Guides were not allowed to meet. I created new escape rooms online, and we continued running those until the end of June.

I changed jobs in April, and now work with a bunch of people I've never seen in person.

In May, Wanda and I painted the living room/dining room/hallway, which is always a huge job. Shortly afterwards, I painted the upstairs bathroom, which is much easier.

I got other stuff done around the house, too - I recaulked the kitchen and upstairs bathroom; I glued down the tile that's been loose for a long time; and I built a hammock stand.

And then, in July, I gave in and got a proper desk to work from. It was well worth it. It's a floating desk, and I set it at standing height. I also bought a drafting (i.e. tall) chair. It's working well.

I recertified my first aid, did a psychological first aid course online, and finally did the boater's course. 

Pathfinders started up in the fall, and we started meeting outside in my backyard. That's working well - we may stay outside even once the pandemic is over. 

I bought new living room furniture (which will arrive on Saturday), bought a Nintendo Switch so I can spend time with my friend Luigi, bought more takeout meals than ever before, and bought a pair of slippers that I love.

I've eaten all but 2 meals at  home since March. (I ate in my car during the first aid course, and I ate lunch at a Pathfinder day camp in November.)

This is the first time in my life I haven't traveled for Christmas. 

I've started playing board games online with friends.

I made a quilt for the friend I do Pathfinders with.

I had several trips planned for this year; none of them happened. But I had vacation time to help a friend with cancer, and I had time off to recharge.

I miss socializing in person, and restaurants, and movies. But I'm doing OK.

Bring on 2021.

Monday, November 23, 2020

Totally certifiable

 Back in March, I said "I'm finally going to do my boater course since there's nothing else to do." I finally did it last weekend. I choose, which is a lot of reading - and you have to spend a certain amount of time on each page, so I kept getting distracted and wandering off. But I finished the course, and ordered my card.

A couple of weeks before that, I did a one-day first aid recertification course. I debated on whether to do it or not - you have to go to an in person class, which I wasn't thrilled about - but I ultimately decided it would be worth it, since we have no idea when life will go back to what used to be normal. 

After I did that, I did an online psychological first aid course from the Red Cross - it a short course, but was interesting. 

That's probably enough certifications for a while. 

I'm running out of projects to do around the house - except for the ones that involve cleaning, which somehow never make it to the top of the list. My Christmas gifts have been bought and shipped to my mom, who is wrapping them for me. 

But luckily (?) the house is keeping me busy. First there were the mice - one in March, two in September, and then 2 in November. I called an exterminator after we caught 2 in one day in November, and he set traps everywhere. Since he didn't catch any, he thinks they were just an isolated incident, but he did seal up all of the holes on the house to stop more from getting in.

And then the pipe from the laundry room started backing up, so I called a plumber. He cleared the issue, but that pipe is going to need to be replaced.

And before all of that started, I bought new living room furniture. It's been an expensive month, is what I'm saying. 

(I'm pretty sure I'm going to buy a Nintendo Switch, as well. I need something to get me through what will be a pretty boring winter. I miss restaurants.)

Tuesday, October 13, 2020


 It was a quiet weekend, for the most part. I did some cleaning, made Thanksgiving dinner, had some zoom calls with friends and family.

My cousin and I have been doing weekly hikes, so we did that on Sunday morning. I'm really enjoying them - it's a way to get outside and enjoy the weather.

A tree with a vine wrapped around it

A rock painted like an alligator lying in a stream

A dead tree with a lot of branches

Fallen leaves

A leaf-covered path in the woods surrounded by trees

A path through the sand dunes

A path through the woods

My Pathfinders are still meeting outside, which also gives me a chance to get outside more. The girls are great - we have a big group (15 girls, which is a good size for this age group) and they're all lovely kids. And they strongly prefer outdoor meetings to online meetings, so we will stay outside until public health or Girl Guides tell us to stop.

We're also selling mint cookies; if you're in the market and you live in Canada, you can support us by buying here:

Monday, September 7, 2020

Pandemic life continues

Wanda and I took a week off at the beginning of August and did some day trips. We went camping, did a maze through a marsh in a paddle boat, visited the lost villages museum, and the ruins of St. Raphael’s church.

The bell and inside of St Raphael’s

A building from the lost villages

And then my fridge broke and I had to get a new one. Fun fact: large appliances are hard to get due to the pandemic, but I was able to get one in about 10 days. 

I made a bunch of masks.

A unicorn mask with eyes and a horn

A purple hippo mask

At the start quarantine, I saw some videos about flow painting. Basically, you thin paint and then pour it once canvas. This weekend I tried it.

In the black, white, and red painting, I laid a piece of wool on the canvas and put red, gold, and white paint on the wool. Then I filled in the rest of the canvas with black and then pulled the wool off. 

The next painting was a dirty cup - you put the paint into the cup in layers, then tip the cup upside down onto the canvas and tip the canvas to help the paint spread.

The next one has the same colours as the dirty cup pour, but instead of dumping the cup upside down, I poured it out while making small circles with my hand. Again, I tilted the canvas to spread the paint. I like the lines that result from this pour. 

Friday, July 17, 2020

Online shopping

I’ve done a fair amount of online shopping for years, but the pandemic has stepped up the variety of places I've shopped. Some are great; some are good; and some are terrible.

The terrible:

Best Buy - not my purchase, but my mom ordered (and paid for) an iPad early in the pandemic. It did not arrive, as clearly showed by the tracking number, but Best Buy has not refunded her. It's now at a credit card dispute.

IKEA - I ordered a coffee press on April 4. A couple of weeks later I contacted them to ask when they expected it to ship. The rep I was talking to said it had shipped. A month after I placed the order, it still hadn't shipped according to their site and customer service was no longer reachable. I asked them for a refund on Twitter, which also didn't arrive. Another credit card dispute. (Curbside pickup was all but non-existent here last time I looked, and the line to get in is huge. Moral of the story: no IKEA for the foreseeable future, don't even look.)

The good:

Rona - in-store pickups take a couple of weeks last time I tried, but online orders ship quickly. I ordered a desk from them (time to stop working at the kitchen table) and it shipped within a couple of days. Unfortunately, Purolator took a couple of weeks to get it here, but that's on them, not Rona.

Cabelas - Ordered coffee press #2 from here. They were good about telling me when it would ship, and meeting the date. Unfortunately, UPS took longer than expected to get it here; not Cabela's fault, though.

Amazon - back during the coffee press saga, they were forecasting a month for 2-day delivery. That seems to have fixed itself, though. (Although I have now cancelled Prime so I don't buy from them as often.)

Costco - They forecast a couple of weeks for an order, and meet or beat their estimates.

The great:

Staples - I ordered a monitor, keyboard/mouse, power bar, headset, and paper on Monday night; by Wednesday night I had everything except the headset, which is projected to be here on Monday.

Walmart - again, ordered some shirts and a set of shelves on a Monday and had everything by Thursday.

Indigo - ordered some books on Tuesday, had them by Thursday.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

More COVID projects

A couple of weeks after we painted the living room, I painted the upstairs bathroom. I love the new look, particularly because I took down the blinds and put that film on the windows that keeps people from being able to see in. It’s so bright!

I bought a new TV, and Wanda and I mounted it from the ceiling.

 I made donuts.

 I built a hammock stand.

 And I made a quilt for a friend who is pregnant. It turned out well and definitely ended up differently than it would have if fabric stores were easily accessible. (They’re open; I’m not going.)

And I made a fundraising escape room that is open to the public:

Next is probably building a proper work area - I’d like to buy the desk, but it is in short supply so I might have to build it.