Saturday, July 5

An Evening of Bird Song

Last night when Meeko and I were out for our evening stroll, I noticed that the birds in the area were very active. It had been a beautiful day - hot but not humid and it cooled off around 8pm. When we got back to the house, I came in and got my camera, then went out to sit on the step with Meeko.

While sitting there enjoying a cup of tea, I noticed an orange flash in the tree across the road. Then another and a Baltimore Oriole landed on the wire that runs across the street. I watched them for a couple of minutes, camera in hand to see if they were going to stick around. The bird on the wire soon joined the one in the tree. I was able to get the shot above by being very patient. It took me about a half hour to center in on this beautiful fellow.

Besides the Baltimore Orioles, I saw a mourning dove, a bluejay, a cardinal and a robin all within the half hour time frame. The Oriole is the only one I managed to get a decent photo of. Bird photography takes a great deal of patience, but I'm glad I was able to capture this fellow with my digital.

I enjoyed watching the birds flit here and there. They were quite vocal and the colors were lovely. A great show provided by nature.

In renovation news, the plaster and lathe are gone from the upstairs. Two men came and gave us an estimate and said we either had to have it done this afternoon or not until Tuesday. This afternoon sounded good to me and the price was reasonable. Three men came, separated the lathe from the plaster and carried it all down. You wouldn't believe the dust it created both upstairs and in the front hall. I'm so thankful that this messy part of the job is done.

Enjoy your weekend. Remember to take some time to do something for you. Relax a little and do something you enjoy. ~Blessings, Mary~

Friday, July 4

The Envelope Please...

The envelope please... and the winner of the contest to guess what I had done that I had never done before in my life is............................

Yes, I was tired of my thin, gray hair and I dyed it. When I was young, dying your hair was all the fad, but my parents would never allow it. I guess they ingrained that into me and throughout my adult life I just never did it. Besides, I loved my thick mop of auburn. However, after my accident in 1988, I began to loose my hair and it got thinner, and thinner and... well, you get the idea.

When I got my hair cut the other day, the hairdresser, whom I've gone to for years asked me why I didn't dye it. She told me it would look a little thicker and would look fuller with a bit of color. So yesterday I went to the drugstore and bought some hair dye. She was right. It does at least look like I have hair now. See below. I'm quite pleased, though I don't look forward to having to dye it every six weeks or so. But when I had to choose whether to look bald or like I still have a little hair, I choose the latter. Even Jordan noticed. He kept looking at me oddly and then asked me if I'd dyed my hair.

So Anni, in the next few days I will send your gift off to you in the mail. I will send you an email when it's on its way.

In renovation news, the lathe and plaster are still upstairs. In yesterday's post I explained that I had called 1-800-Got-J*unk. They had quoted me a price of $215 to $300 for removing all the garbage. They were to be here at 2pm.

About 1:45, the man called and said he would be about one hour and a half getting here, as they were halfway between here and Niagara Falls. I understand things happen, so that was fine. When he did get here, he looked at the mess upstairs and told me it would be $750 to remove it. No way was I paying that much if I have to carry it downstairs myself. So I sent him on his way and called the company. I heard every excuse in the book from them. The only thing I have to say is that I will never call them again nor will I ever refer anyone to them.

So, the plaster and lathe is still upstairs and we can't paint a thing until it is gone because of all the dust. We can tape and mud though, so we will get that done. This afternoon another man, an independent, is coming to give us a price. If that is too steep, we will end up doing it ourselves, but that will cause things to be delayed once again, so am keeping my fingers crossed that this man is reasonable. Oh, the joys of renovations, but at least it is moving forward, albeit slowly.

Take care and have a wonderful Friday. And to all my American friends and readers, Happy Independence Day.~Blessings, Mary~

Thursday, July 3

A Contest and Renovation Updates

I did something today that I've never done before in my life. See if you can guess what it was. The person who guesses right will get a little gift from me in the mail, which I won't disclose until the winner receives it. I will announce what I did on my next post, along with the winner's name. Remember though, you have to be willing to give me your mailing address in order to receive it. You don't have to have a blog to win. Everyone is eligible. Have fun!

We have all of the wallboard on the bathroom except one sheet. This has to be left until after the plumber moves the pipes for the sink. I have taken a couple of photos to let you see how very green it looks. The green wallboard is a bit more expensive, but we decided to bite the bullet because it is water resistant. Well worth it in the long run. It will keep moisture at bay. We are going to install a new ceiling fan, which will also help.
This afternoon, 1-800-Got_J*unk is coming to take away all the lathe and plaster and other garbage that we took out of here, including the old sink, tub and toilet. It would have cost me a fortune to get a disposal box in here - almost $500. That is out of the questions and these guys do all the work. Hopefully by the time the sun sets tonight, all the garbage will be gone. Once all the dusty garbage is gone, we will tape and mud the cracks between the wallboard and then prime and paint before the plumber comes in.

In other news, hubby had his tests on Wednesday. He goes to the specialist on July 11th to get the results. Please keep him in your prayers.

It was a beautiful day yesterday with no humidity and a great breeze. My type of summer day. Humidity and I don't get along. I hope you are having great weather in your area. We are to have more rain and thunderstorms starting later today. However, the rain doesn't bother me as everything is such a beautiful green when we have sufficient rain. ~Blessings, Mary~

Wednesday, July 2

Some Canada Day Fun

Yesterday was Canada Day. I talked to Michelle in the morning and she told me she and Barry were taking the boys bicycle riding and then to the Canada Day festivities.

About 3:45 pm, Jordan called and asked if we could go to the farm. I told them that the farm was closed because of the holiday. Well, Jordan wanted to go somewhere and he thinks his big brother has extra clout, so he put Brandon on the phone. He was also a bit disappointed that there would be no farm and asked if we could do something else. Since everything was closed for the holiday, I told him I couldn't think of anything.

After I'd hung up, I got thinking about what a nice day it was, sunny but not excessively hot and a cool breeze was blowing. I phoned Michelle back and asked her if I could take the boys strawberry picking. She said yes.
We headed out and yes, I did have the camera, but forgot all about taking photos in the strawberry field. The berries were juicy, large and easy to pick.

We paid for the berries and the boys took them to the van while I asked the farmer a few questions. Yes, it was a good crop this year and the berries would last for about ten more days. Whoohoo! We only bought enough for eating this time, but Michelle wants to make freezer jam and I would like a few more for eating. I don't make jam because I'm diabetic and Dwight is allergic to strawberries, so I just enjoy them in season.

Anyway, while I was talking to the farmer, Jordan found my camera. Since he loves taking pictures, Brandon was the subject of most.

Here is the first one. Brandon professes to hate his photo taken, but notice the smile on his face.

This one looks like he got a little more cooperative. It's unusual to get a nice photo of Brandon smiling, so Jordan did a good job with this one.

The game is over and Brandon has had enough. He's totally ignoring Jordan. However, secretly he was having fun because they were both laughing and cutting up when I got back to the van.

When we got back to their place I asked them to stand in front of the tree in the front yard and have their photo taken with the berries, since we didn't get any of them in the strawberry patch. Amid groans of protest, they agreed.

Still being a little devilish, they decided that they would have their picture taken but stick out their tongues while I was doing it. They took turns doing this until I had taken three photos. I told them that they had to stand there until I got a good one. hehe

Finally they behaved for me to get a half decent one. They are still in being devilish mode, but having fun is what life is all about. I can hear them in 20 years laughing about how they pushed Grandma's buttons and tried to make her just a bit crazy. (If they only knew.)

Here are some of the fruits of our labor. An entire pail of strawberries. They are big, juicy and sweet. It only took us about 20 minutes to pick four quarts and in between the boys were tasting and having fun.

This was the perfect outing to top off Canada Day. We had fun and made a few memories. What better thing to do on our country's birthday. ~Blessings, Mary~

Tuesday, July 1

Happy Birthday, Canada!

Tuesday July 1, 2008 is Canada's 141st birthday. Believe it or not, Canada is not just a land of ice and snow. In the summer, southern regions of the nation can see temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, though this is rare. A hot summer day is usually in the high 90s.

Here are a few more facts about Canada:

* Canada is located on the North American continent and is the second largest country in the world.

* Canada is bordered by the United States of America to the south, the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Arctic Ocean to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the east.

* Canada consists of ten provinces and three territories. The newest territory is Nunavut, pronounced Noon-a-voot, was established in 1999 and consists of two million square miles.

* Canada's capital is Ottawa, Ontario.

* Stephen Harper is the Prime Minister of Canada. He is leader of the Conservative Party, also known as the Tories.

* John A. McDonald was the first Prime Minister of Canada.

* Canada's most prominent emblem is the maple leaf. It appears on our flag, which you can see at the top of my sidebar.

* Another Canadian emblem is the beaver. When Canada was young, there were millions of beaver here. The skins were highly sought after in England for beaver skin hats.

* Other symbols of Canada include the Bluenose II and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. People also associate moose and the Common loon with Canada.

* Canada's motto is: from sea to sea. Her national anthem is O' Canada.

* Canada has six time zones.

* Over one million aboriginal peoples, consisting of North American Indian, Metis and Inuit live within the borders of Canada.

* Canada is home to one quarter of the world's fresh water supply.

* Over two million lakes are situated in Canada and were formed millions of years ago by glaciers.

* Half of the nation is forest region.

* European settlers first arrived in Canada in the 1500s. It was named Canada in 1535 by explorer Jaques Cartier. He heard Native Canadians say the word Kanata, which means village and thought they were referring to the country. Instead of pronouncing it Kanata (Can-ah-ta) he called it Canada.

* Canada was formed on July 1, 1867. For many years it only had four provinces; Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Quebec.

* At one time the region that is now Ontario was Upper Canada and Quebec was Lower Canada.

* Canada sells electric power to the United States.

* Canada has 42 national parks. These were established to protect plant and animal life. The largest national park is Alberta's Wood Buffalo National Park. It is the only site where whooping cranes nest and is home to the world's largest herd of buffalo.

* Canadians invented the light bulb, television, the electron microscope, the snow mobile, green garbage bags, basketball (a Canadian invented it in the US) and the baseball glove, among other things.

* Hockey is Canada's national sport.

* Canada is a bilingual and multi-cultural country.

* Canadians celebrate Canada Day by going to celebrations where there are activities for the entire family, food and, after dark, fireworks.

I could go on and on with other facts about Canada, but that is enough for today. I wish my Canadian friends a Happy Canada Day and my American friends a Happy Independence Day. Enjoy the festivities and stay safe. ~Blessings, Mary~