Sunday, August 20, 2017

Odds and Ends

Posting has been slowing down recently, and since this pace, or lack of same, will likely continue for much of the next week, I'll try to put a little something together. At times like this, I sometimes just make a list, but I never know what I'll include when I begin. 😀 So, here we go.

  • The weather has mostly been cloudier, rainier and cooler than is the summer standard, but it has been more summery than previously for the past two weeks or so. However, right now, I am thinking of switching from shorts to light track pants as the breezes float in through the open windows.
  • That doesn't mean that it's cold exactly, but due to nerve damage in my back, I have sensitive, cold spots on my lower legs, which feel better when wind is not blowing directly on them. Weird, I know; I am nothing if not weird.
  • We are getting ready for some company next week. The forecast seems positive at present. We are also due to care for our own grands, so it should be a full week.
  • We have been doing some cat-sitting for the past week. Shauna was called away for a week-long conference, so we've been dropping by for an hour or so to feed and cuddle the kitties. Sid, especially, likes to snuggle and be petted.
  • Speaking of cats, Bella is still with us and halfway into her fifth month. I was going to write a four-month report but didn't get around to it. maybe I'll manage for the end of the fifth month. Basically, I am a little worried about her health these days.
  • I am going to pre-cook bacon this weekend. With company coming, we may do a big breakfast/brunch one day, and I find it easier to have the bacon pre-cooked. It nukes easily and well, and we can concentrate on getting other dishes such as eggs, pancakes, or french toast ready.
  • Speaking of weird, once again, I shaved around midnight the other night. Yup! I shaved to go to bed. Being bearded but trimly bearded, I generally shave every second day. This is mostly to get if off my neck where it gets very scratchy. The scratchiness was driving me crazy when I was reading, so I got up, shaved, and read a bit more before trundling off to me repose.
  • I have been reading a fair bit lately, mainly Ann Cleeves: not Anne of Cleves, I hasten to add. She has a few mystery series: Vera, set in Northumbria, and Shetland, set in um ... Shetland, the Scottish islands to the north of the mainland. I am quite enjoying both series, which have also been adapted for TV. They're on Netflix, I think (or maybe we saw them on Acorn) and are both worth watching if you haven't chanced upon them yet.
  • Having watched the series, I hadn't realized that they had been adapted from novels by Cleeves. But when a favourite author, Louise Penny, recommended her on Facebook wall, I was keen to look them up and was delighted to find that our town library carries them.
  • And speaking of Louise Penny, her newest novel comes out shortly. Sue will get the audio version, and I'll probably read it that way.  I can get into audible versions although, in general, I prefer to read books tin the time-honoured way.
  • Last point: we needed to check out something at the textile museum in Almonte this past week and saw this gigantic quilt that was made my ladies from all across the country for Canada's 125th anniversary. Now, 25 years later it is being shown for our 150th anniversary. Each square comes with a story, and there is an accompanying book also on display.

I took the first shot through the doorway to try to capture a sense of the scale.

The next two shots are closer, in order to see the detail a bit better.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Blakeney Conservation Area

On Friday, after viewing the sunflowers, we headed over to Blakeney where there are rapids and a nice, little conservation area. It was only a mile or so from the sunflower field, and it is one of our goto spots for a quick, little outing.

Just in from the parking lot there is a bench, and this is where we sat for awhile as the kids wandered here and there around the riverbank. JJ would usually climb this tree and has in the past, but not on this day.

There was a fisherman within our view from the bench where Sue and I sat.

Eventually I wandered around and took some different shots of the fisherman.

I used the milkweed as a foreground element in this one and focused on it, leaving the man out of focus.

Later, I used some loosestrife as a foreground element but included the kids in the frame.

The ladies weren't in the mood for trekking into the woodland part, so JJ and I went off together. There are a number of footbridges to get over the branches of the river as it splits apart for a short time in this area, and JJ being JJ did some climbing and posing. They often tell me when to take photos now.

It's been a wet summer, and we came to a low-lying muddy patch that I didn't want to try to navigate with my poor and untrustworthy lower limbs, but JJ was all up for it and then did some more posing.

It was time to head back, but I took this shot on my way. It is an amalgam of 4 photos to make it a faux long exposure with a bit of blur on the water.

We have a week off before we get the kids for another week, but I hope to get around to showing some of the crafting of slime before then.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

More Sunflowers

Please forgive me, but I can't resist. I've done a little more with some of my other sunflower photos, and I might as well post them.

It's so nice that the property owners actually encourage people to visit and photograph (see sign).

More family photos amongst the flowers.

JJ is almost lost in there.

And a few more of the flowers themselves.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Sunflowers Galore

We were babysitting the grands this past week or at least three days of it. While the making of slime became the main focus of the week, we got out to a sunflower field on our final afternoon. I've never been close to one before, so it was quite a treat.

The field was quite extensive. It would have been nice to see it from a stepladder to catch more of the farther plants, but the thoughtless owners did not provide one.

The kids wandered along the edge.

And then we went in.

I tried many shots, but this one came out best IMO.

I like this one too but not quite as much, partly because the sky was more blown out with only the gray parts remaining. Perhaps I should have replaced the sky or at least eliminate the gray parts, and perhaps I will still do that but not now.

There was a bit more wandering, but the clan walked back towards me before we headed off.

A nice half hour it was.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Bridge Street Summer Fest

They do this every year on the first weekend of August — close off Main Street for displays and vendors. Usually the temperature is rather torrid, but this year, it was cool enough for long pants and heavier shorts. Until later in the morning that is; by then I was getting a little too warm.

Up until this year, it was called the Bridge Street Bazaar, but it's the same by any name. On one hand I don't get the attraction of setting up a half mile of vendors booths, but it is well attended, and, darn it all, I go too.

There were some interesting costumes.

And various musicians.

More costumes.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

A Sleepover At Last

We have owed JJ a sleepover for weeks now. He was supposed to go first, and we had his date lined up, but then something or other intervened, so Danica took his spot. We finally remedied that situation on the weekend.

They usually get a sleepover treat when they sleepover, and this was no exception, but there's no picture, so we'll move on. Move on to Movie.

JJ gets to bring or pick a movie, and this time he chose Robin Hood — again. And we watched it with him. Again! There's something comforting about routine sometimes.

Sometimes, he likes to snuggle during a movie.

He still gets a bedtime story when he's here. He found Hansel and Gretel and hadn't read it yet, so it was a good choice.

At other times, like the next morning, he took over my computer space, not to use the computer so much but to begin to craft a comic book. We had found some images on the computer for him to work from.

As the cat hovered.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

First Picnic

Oh my! With summer half gone, we hadn't had our first picnic yet! Among other things, I think the weather has to shoulder a major share of the blame.

Whatever! It was time to remedy that sorry situations by visiting Tims and then taking coffee and sandwiches to our favourite spot, right new our favourite tee. I think it's everyone's favourite tree, which is here in this shot.

That shot was looking upriver from where we sat. Here is a downriver shot. Sue is off to the right.

Across the river was a line of seagulls — for awhile anyway.

Then, the paddlers came, mostly kids from the canoe club daycamp not very far downstream.

We stayed for about an hour and a half, reading and gazing for awhile after eating. There were others enjoying the day.

It was good to get out and enjoy a very fine summer's day in this grand little park in this fine little town..