Saturday, July 27, 2013

Slipping away

It's Saturday, 2:47 p.m., that part of the weekend where it still feels like there's tons of time left, but before I know it it'll be Sunday night and I'll be putting my laundry away and packing my lunches for the week.

It's that part of summer, too. It's not even the August long weekend yet - there's tons of time to get outside and enjoy the summer.

The clock is ticking on summer, though.

I have so much I want to do, and I'd better get moving.

Unfortunately, much of what I want to do is actually work - trim the hedges before the front walk completely disappears, cut off some of the lower branches on the tree that is trying to eat the driveway, take a canoe course, do a canoe camping trip.

So far, I've gotten as far as making a to-do list.

I also want to lie outside and read a book (but I usually read on my iPad these days, and that's backlit, so doesn't work well outside, so I'd need to move a book to my kobo or, you know, read a book made of paper).

I have stuff to do around the house - and while I could do it during the rest of the year, once September hits I'll be back in boxing and Pathfinders and time will just disappear.

Time to go look for a book I can read outside.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

I have the house to myself again!

At the end of June, my sister Camille came to visit.
She stayed for almost 2 weeks.

We had a good time - we went to Jersey Boys and Bluesfest, took day trips to Montreal and Carleton Place, went downtown for Canada Day, on walks around the neighbourhood, and drove out into the country to buy saskatoon berries.

She left last Monday.

On Tuesday, my mom and my niece came to visit.

Wednesday morning we got up bright and early to take the train to Toronto. (Via was having an awesome sale.) It took us 3.5 hours to get there.

We checked into the Fairmont. My niece was thrilled - apparently, Selena Gomez stayed there, although I have no idea how B knew that.

Once we dropped the bags in the room, we took the subway to Yorkdale Mall to go to the Rainforest Cafe. (Were Toronto subway cars always open so that you can walk the length of the train as it's moving, or is that new?)

We ate lunch, then went back downtown and walked around a little. We went to the CN Tower, and B and Wanda went to the top. (I was too cheap to go - it was something like $34.)

Then we met my cousin for supper, and B and I had the following conversation.

B: I want to go swimming at the hotel. Auntie Wanda can come with me.
Me: I don't think Wanda brought her bathing suit.
B: Then Grandma can come.
Me: I don't think Grandma wants to go swimming today.
B: Then I'm all out of options.

B and I left the others at the restaurant and went swimming.

The next morning, we all got up and took public transportation to the zoo. It took 2 subway lines and a bus and took a while, but it  was very straightforward.

We saw the pandas first - I'd heard stories of 2 hour lines - and didn't have to wait long at all.

B, Wanda, and the back of a panda
After the pandas, we saw the other animals in that area (including kangaroos and the komodo dragon), then went back to the main gate to catch the zoomobile.

We took the zoomobile over to the Africa section and saw giraffes, a hippo, white lions, and ostriches. We stopped for lunch, then went back to the main gate again. We took the zoomobile through the whole zoo (note to moms - if your kid doesn't want to say "choo choo" every time the zoomobile starts moving, you don't have to do it yourself). The zoomobile actually goes through a few cages, which allowed us to see some animals we wouldn't have seen otherwise.

By that time, we were tired, so we made the trek back downtown, went for supper, and picked up our bags for the return trip.

Friday was a quiet day, since we were all tired, but we did do a few science experiments.
The vinegar and baking soda rocket

By Saturday, we were ready to leave the house again. We went to Despicable Me 2 (the first one was better, but it was still good) and even went for a walk in the woods which was the worst idea ever.

As you can see, my niece had a terrible time.
She had fun. And if she hadn't had to go to the bathroom, we would have stayed longer.

 Sunday, we went to Brittania beach. Again, I was the one who got to go swimming with her. We went out to the end of the swimming area, and I had the task of picking her up and throwing her in the water.

To be clear, she's almost as tall as I am - the top of her head is just under my nose - and solid. Which is why the following conversation happened:

B: Throw me farther!
Me: Um.
B: Weaking! Weakling! You're a weakling!
Me: You're not as small as you used to be.
B: Look at that guy! He knows how to throw.
Me: Um.
B: This is why you're not my favourite auntie.

And Monday, we went to Calypso. Yes, the day before the report of dozens of safety violations was released.

We actually went on very few slides - it was hot, and the water-to-standing-in-line ratio was low for the slides - but we went on the Jungle Run many times, and on the new Kongo Expedition a few times. (Lines were long for that one in the early afternoon, but it got better around 5.) On the Kongo Expedition, you lie in a tube and the river carries you past a bunch of things (elephants, buckets, etc.) that dump water on you. There's an indoor part in the dark, as well. Near the end, you go into a wave pool area which takes you past more opportunities to get wet. It's fun, and the only downside is the wave pool part - if you end up trapped behind a bunch of people hanging on to each other's tubes, you're going to get stuck.

And yes, we got a little sunburn.

Me: B, go to bed.
Me: One.
B: You're scary.
Me: If you think I'm scary now, just wait until I get to three. Two.
B: If you don't want to get to three, just stop counting.

Yes, she's a bit of a smart alec.

All in all, it was a fun visit.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Update on the mouse saga

On Wednesday, Wanda went out to mow the lawn. I'd warned her about the yogurt container, and this conversation occurred after she'd mowed the lawn.

Wanda: The yogurt container is empty.
Me: Oh, you checked?
Wanda: It was on it's side.
Me: I put it on its side. I was trying to reunite the babies with their mother, not preserve them for future use.
Wanda: Well, it's empty. I checked.

I assume the mouse family is living happily ever after. Hopefully not in the lawn mower.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The lawn still needs mowing

It's Wanda's job to mow the lawn.  Usually, she does it without being prompted, but she hasn't gotten to it for over a week. After she left for work today, I went out to do some gardening and noticed that the lawn was getting excessively long, so I decided to mow it. I took off my gardening gloves and pulled the lawn mower out of the shed.

My lawn mower has a button to prime it, but I find it more effective to just turn the whole machine on its side for 10 seconds or so. I did that, then noticed the lawn mower bag wasn't properly attached.

(That wasn't a surprise - we don't normally leave the bag attached when we put the lawn mower away.)

I picked up the bag and a mouse ran out and hid under the bush.

I picked up the bag from where it had fallen when I screamed and jumped back, and tipped it to make sure there were no other mice in it.

Then I looked at the grass and noticed the two baby mice.

I couldn't leave them unprotected - particularly since I was about to mow the lawn - so I put the gardening gloves on and put them into a yogurt container, which I then put under the bush in the hopes that the mother mouse would find them.

I attached the bag, started the lawn mower, and ... it started to rain.

The lawn still needs mowing.