Summer :-)

Monday, August 11, 2014

Goodness, it's been two weeks since I checked in! I would have bet money that it had been only a week.


It feels as though I've had a bit of a summer vacation. That's novel, because we don't really holiday as many people do. 

So...what's been happening on my summer vacation? Many adventures. Not really. But I'm loving having a house and a yard that's mine. It's like being at the cottage. 

Mr. A Breaks The Car One morning, shortly after my last blog, I got up early, packed Mr. A's cooler and sent him off to go fishing for the day. Not an unusual occurrence. What was unusual was the phone call I received an hour later. The car had stopped working while he was parked on the boat ramp. The men, trucks and boats collecting to use the ramp were very understanding. A tow truck came and brought my car home. 


Mr. A stayed at the lake and fished for the day since the boat was already in the water. Luckily, his fishing buddy for the day had a hitch on his truck and he brought Mr. A and the boat home that evening. 

I Made Steps Last blog I showed you a piece of the garden I had started to reclaim. I got a little excited about the possibility of having my own compost heap, so I decided to make the area a little more user friendly. 

Before: 

During:

After:


Summer School Complete! The kids are officially done their summer school course. It was a steep learning curve, getting used to the requirements and demands of a condensed course. I think both kids were super successful. After a weekend of no assignments and a bit of studying, there was a final review lecture on the Monday. Tuesday afternoon was the exam. It needed a proctor so we booked the quiet study room at the local library and did the exam there. 


I learned that final marks will be mailed to the students. That's fine, just a little surprising given all the online communication for every other aspect of the assignments and grading. I wonder if they're mailing back the $50 'deposit' I paid for the free course?

A Celebratory Pool Party 


The kids' pool party looked doomed. The morning was rainy and awful. We prepared anyway - no sense cancelling since it's so hard to get people together in the summer. I fully expected to be indoors which would not have worked out very well as Mr. A finds it difficult to work when the house is full of OUR teenagers with free time...goodness knows what would have happened if I'd packed the house with extra teenagers!

So there we were, vacuuming the pool in the rain. 1 o'clock - arrival time - rolled around and the sun came out and we had a perfect afternoon. Much fun had by all. 

Book Club Sleepover My book club is awesome. One of the ladies hosted a book club dinner-sleepover and I went. I wasn't going to sleep over, because that seemed weird to me. But after a couple of glasses of wine, sleeping over didn't seem like a weird idea at all. 


Dinner was awesome. We had roasted chicken, a warm pasta dish with baby potatoes, fresh pesto and green beans and this amazing Cobb salad. There was wine and dessert and before all of it there were amazing appetizers. I think we mentioned the book we were supposed to discuss. It was 'Zetouin', non-fiction, an account of the flood in New Orleans during hurricane Katrina. I didn't like the ending and was even more disappointed after learning the fate of the main character's family. 

Gardening In the garden, I'm quite impressed with myself. I've brought tomato plants back from the brink of death. I've fought off digger wasps - seriously, google Great Black Digger Wasp, they're huge and remove a great deal of earth in a short amount of time - both black and red varieties. 


I've also been able to identify Jewel Weed growing behind our seperate garage. It's a native plant with a beautiful flower. The whole plant is tall, spindly and has a translucent quality to the stalks and stems. The flower is a hanging orange pitcher type thing. Hummingbirds apparently like them. 


Once the flower is done, a small pod of seeds hangs there. When you touch it, it explodes. It's alarming if you're not expecting it. The pod bursts so fast you can't even see it. The seeds spray all over, many feet away. I like cupping my hand around the seed pod and collecting the seeds. The pod becomes this little curly bit of nothing and you're left with a few black seeds. I am playing Mother Nature a bit by spreading the seeds to an area where they will hopefully grow up next season. Jewel Weed does not like to be transplanted and does not have a very robust root, so it's best left where it grows.


The Kids Leave For Days Family friends took The Girl Child and The Boy Child camping. They have a beautiful pop-out trailer with every convenience so it was 'glamping' more so than actual communing with nature. We dropped them off at the campsite in New York State one evening and I went to pick them up three days later. It was the longest I've been childless since I became a parent. 

Our friends spoiled the kids silly. There was a field trip to a dam and lock system on the St. Lawrence River but the outing that most amused my nearly grown children was the trip to the Price Chopper, a grocery store. It seems 'Pop Tart' is a food group and they discovered 3Litre Pop bottles, not to be seen in Canadian stores. 


Knitting As August got under way, I remembered I was supposed to be participating in Stash Dash 2014. This is a personal challenge where you try to finish projects that amount to 5 kilometers of yarn. I'll have to blog about this separately, but I failed dismally. I prefer to think about it as 'setting a benchmark' for future years of Stash Dash challenges. I think I may have knit a single kilometer's worth. 


I knit these 14 Hexipuffs, 2 pair of summer socks, the Sweet Poppy baby jacket and a Henslowe scarf that has not yet been photographed. I started my Rams & Yowes blanket and another scarf called The Age of Brass and Steam. 

Wrapping up my Couple of Weeks That Felt Like A Vacation was yesterday's surprise trip to the yarn shop. Mr. A has been doing his best to take care of me since I've come down with a terrible cough and sore throat. Two consecutive nights of 'sleeping' upright on the couch does not make for a very energetic Mrs. A. So Mr. A put me in the car yesterday afternoon and we zipped up the road to the little village with a wonderful yarn shop. 


It doesn't look like much, but the wonderful things in my chair show that Mr. A has been paying more attention than I thought. While I was busy squishing yarn, he was casing the joint for a swift. He grabbed it and added it to our purchase at the very last second so I didn't even see it coming. He asked the shop lady if she had any blocking wires - they're in the brown tube - and we also picked out a most amusing yarn cake. 


The yarn is 480 yards (440m) of 4ply cotton fingering. There's hardly any twist to it. I love the colours and I look forward to seeing if there are simple colour changes or if the yarn blends through a gradient, light to dark. The yarn is Shirley.Brian and there is a maddeningly short supply of information online about them. I believe they're a local independent but it's hard to say. The search for an appropriate pattern for this yarn has begun. 

I've gone on long enough. I have other adventures to tell, but I will leave things here for now. I feel as if the summer has crested and today begins the downhill run...and it's quickly gaining momentum to the end of summer, school year planning, part time jobs, extracurricular activities and a new season in our new home. 

Mrs. A

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