Saturday, September 26, 2020


Another wagon load of wood ready to go into the house. My tomato buckets are waiting to be emptied.


We went apple picking a few days ago. I've made pies and crisp and the dehydrators is humming away.

View of the Ottawa River and the Gatineau Hills in the distance from near Braeside

This is where the Bonnechere River empties in the Ottawa. This was our first time here.

The tree beside the shed

Another maple behind the house is yellow

Multi colored back yard

The last flower from my garden

View through our side door. The cats love to crouch there watching the birds at the feeder

Colors at a boat launch somewhere along our travels. The boat launches are all very busy this beautiful weekend

View from the lookout at Westmeath

The weather has been so spectacular this week. This weekend there have been hoards heading into Algonquin Park to see the colors. We live right on the edge of the famous park and we don't like the crowds anyway, so we headed in the other direction. We saw beautiful colors as we traveled along. We saw lots of farmers harvesting beans and corn. We saw, and visited, farm shops selling all manner of produce. Tomorrow we are getting together with our little bubble for dinner.


It hasn't all been good days and fun times. Our hot water has started turning rusty and there is debris in the bathtub. We are just praying the bottom doesn't go out of it before our new hot water heater arrives.  Our water just destroys them. The new tank has a liner AND it's made in Canada.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Homeschooling ain't for sissies

 This story is about someone I know well. We are family.

My relative is grandmother to a five, almost six, year old boy. The mother of this child is a nurse, an essential worker.  Recently, the child's school was shut down due to a Covid outbreak. Fire up the home schooling grandma!

They have very poor internet reception where they live. so that was the first challenge. They get the best signal in the kitchen. 

My relative, (I'm going to call her Ann just to give her an anonymous name) is going to be tied to the kitchen every day from 9 to 3:45. She has to sit very quietly in the kitchen. If she starts doing something, it distracts the child and he breaks from his online lessons. If Ann leaves the room, the child breaks and comes looking for her. 

Grandma Ann was always the fun in this child's life so having her suddenly be thrust into a teacher role is a real challenge for her and the boy. 

I can't imagine how difficult it is for folks with poor internet service (which is a problem even for us old folks NOT homeschooling. M. tells me our neighbours, parents of an eight year old, are at their wits end.

How are parents of multiple children coping? Not only the multiple draws on their internet bandwidth, but keeping those kids focused on their studies.

And then there are the parents that aren't very educated themselves. When I worked in the school system, I had many students in my charge who were literally challenged. I was quite shocked that many of these youngsters with the  most severe challenges came from homes where there was not one piece of printed material in the house. Their parents didn't read anything. Not a newspaper, a novel, magazine or bible. Hard to imagine isn't it? It's sadly a fact of life here in rural Ontario. When I think of it, I think I can pinpoint the families on my road... 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

It is officially autumn

 The season "turned" at 9:31 this morning. I think the majority of us think fall started a couple of weeks ago though.  This week we are having a lovely reprieve in the chilly weather. After a COLD and WET week our days are sunny and warm. We are trying to do things in a rush and getting stiff and sore. I REALLY over exerted myself yesterday. The kitchen walls and windows washed, the curtains taken down and washed. That involved ladders. Ladders and my back don't get along. Today I'm pacing myself. Work for fifteen minutes, take a half hour break. "Gettin' old ain't for sissies" is the saying my father used to use, LOL. 

M. business is quiet right now. His business clients have shut down for the season. The boat motors have been put away. He had an awful lot of them this summer. More folks at cottages for longer periods of time perhaps? The various church camps and private campgrounds that he serves are closed and shuttered. We still have the odd lawn tractor client calling for service. Snow blowers and generators are slowly starting to trickle in.

We appreciate this quiet time in this business because we have so much to do around here. Our own (and family) tractors, wood splitters, chain saws, generators and snow blowers have to be serviced while the weather is good.  M. had our small woodsplitter out hacking some bigger blocks of wood down to size for our upstairs wood stove. We have a wood furnace that takes much bigger stuff.

Sometime in the next few weeks we have to go to a neighbours place and pick up a cord of firewood that was bought and paid for a year ago, but we didn't need.  M. has to go to Cobden to meet up with a guy who is going to sell him a load of different firewood. The wood that he cut and split in our own wood yard is NOT dry enough to burn yet. We are praying it dries out by the New Year!

We are being over run with mice! The traps went off THREE times last evening! Our fat lazy cats can't be bothered chasing them right now. It's time they got with the program and earning their keep!


bend in the river

geese gathering

morning same tree

Jacks Lake, just up the road

isolated farm 

sky reflection

Monday, September 21, 2020

"Tis a GRAND day

 It appears that tonight is our last "Iffy" night for awhile. We are heading back above freezing again for probably a good week! The daytime temperatures are forecast to be in the low to mid-20s. That's the low 70s for my American friends.

I didn't sleep worth a darn last night, but despite that inconvenience, I woke up this morning feeling quite energized and free of pain! My belly pain has disappeared and the back pain was inconsequential. Patsy dear, I do YOGA every night before settling in for the long haul as well as upon waking. I've done YOGA to some extent for over 40 years. After I had my knee replacement surgery there were some minor mobility complications that the YOGA got me past! My back issues actually flared up again after the surgery which the orthopedist is scratching his head about. 

Our community is on tenderhooks thanks to the outbreak at the high school. I HAD to go to the town to do a bit of shopping this morning. (The pets have to eat too after all!) I figured I better make sure everything we needed for the next few weeks was coming home with me. I popped into the Dollarama to pick up some birthday cards. No lineup, in, out. Then the grocery store. No lineup, in and out. Unfortunately half the meat stuff I was after was not in the coolers. They didn't know when or if they would get it in stock. Isn't that a kicker.  Then it was a quick pop into Canadian Tire for furnace filters. The furnace and chimney is getting cleaned this week so I want it all nice and fresh.  I wandered into Michael's for some yarn to finish up the Christmas knitting and a pair of mittens and a hat for my friends birthday. Again, no line, in and out. I was home in less than two hours, and I do live a good half hour from that end of town. 

This afternoon I've been busy cleaning. I washed all the kitchen walls, the kitchen window and curtains. Two loads of laundry and the dishwasher run twice.  I think I'm done for the day.....


We went for a lovely drive yesterday where lots of photos were taken. Will get on that later.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Double BRRR leading up to a pleasant afternoon

 I hear parts of Ontario hit record low temperatures last night. 

Everything was white when I came downstairs this morning. Everything was FROZEN too.

Even my zucchini in it's double layer of flannel sheets.

M. had a service call in a town west of here. It was on the way to a shop we wanted to get to so I was along for the ride.

I took a few pics along the way.

The tree outside the diningroom window is starting to get bright

I feel so bad for some neighbours on my road. They are getting married in their garden today. Overnight, POOF, they had to cut their guest list to 25 people. Like how on earth do you call people the DAY OF and tell them, sorry, you can't come? Which sibling do you cut? Oh boy, Dougie could have given citizens a bit more notice of that move.

My gall bladder has decided to quit giving me grief for awhile. One of these days it is going to have to come out though. Instead, my sore back decided to take the reins. I hurt it years ago at work. The past year or so it has gotten steadily worse. This summer it seems to have taken another increase. There is NOTHING to be done about it. I can hardly roll out of bed some days, then it takes until noonish to limber up to the point where I can function. By the time we returned from our little jaunt to the town, I was able to bend and lift and pull a bit. I pulled all of the dead stuff out of the garden and put the bean trellis in the shed. After that I sat in the Adirondack chair for a half hour or so, admiring the clouds. Then I had to get a shovel and start digging up iris corms. They haven't bloomed in a couple of years so I'm just getting rid of them. Now THAT was really hard work! It was pretty warm in the sunshine too, so I took a break and stretched out on the grass. This totally freaked out my poor dog who cam running to make sure I was okay. After reassuring her, she stretched out beside me.