Friday, May 22, 2015

What Do The Signs Say?

Ever since I had the stomach flu on Sunday, I've been s-l-o-w-l-y getting better. I still feel slightly queasy for a good part of the day, and that, combined with my cold, has been getting the best of me. However, yesterday showed some signs that maybe, just maybe, things are starting to look up.
I was able to drink a pot of tea for breakfast, but the only solid food which appealed was saltines. Yay?
Rachel and I both got dressed and left the house (yep, we've been having a lot of pajama days lately), but Rachel didn't have many clean clothes to put an outfit together. Yes, she is wearing red socks and peach coloured pants. No, I didn't care.
We did make it to Costco, but then I "fed" Rachel a lunch of Costco samples. She had half a popsicle but balanced that out with some Ceasar salad, among other things -- sausage, popcorn, chips. That's a healthy lunch, right?!
We did get some laundry done but Rachel put everything in and out of the washer and started the cycle going. I think all I was providing was moral support.
The dining room and the kitchen got cleaned but Rachel cleared everything out of the kitchen so I could wash the floors, and then put absolutely everything back once they were dry.
We got the flyers done but Rachel pulled the wagon the entire time.
I made supper but didn't have the energy to make mashed potatoes to go with the goulash.
Dave and Sam had haircuts in the evening, and because I am a gardentrovert, I actually got quite a bit of yard work done. I planted the rest of the front beds, and watered everything.
I also put another couple of planters together.
And I mowed the front lawn. However, I only had energy to mow half the back lawn so that still needs to be finished.
I got some vegetables packed up for Sam's lunch, although Rachel did the spinach. And yes, she was on the floor, but remember, it got washed earlier.
So either the signs prove that I am indeed on the mend, or that I have perfected the art of using child labour. Either way, things are looking up!

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Little Before And After: Yard Work Edition

So even though our family has been sick, or recovering from being sick, for most of the past two weeks, there have been bright days here and there where everyone is feeling quite well. Saturday was one of those days.

I woke up bright and early to go get our winter tires taken off at Costco. I got there at 7:45 and was the first in line. Nope, they don't take appointments and yes, they are cheap, thus it is worth it. I drank my tea, read an entire book, and sat in my lawn chair. It was like a little mini vacation!

I was also shocked at all the people lining up forty minutes early to shop. Not to get a coveted tire spot, but to buy food. Who on earth goes to Costco early to line up to shop? And I checked and nothing amazing was being released. I hope I am never bored enough to become a Costco keener.

Now, I should add a small caveat here: For one of Sam's birthday parties, Dave and I did get to Costco about fifteen minutes before it opened on a Saturday because we were on a deadline for a party which started at 11, or so. So we needed to get in and out quick and get home to do other party stuff. But that is one of the only reasons I could justify lining up early. And I really hope none of you are Costco keeners and that I have now completely offended and alienated you. But if you are, could you please explain the mystery of your ways? Thanks!

Anyways, I was home in time for lunch, after doing a couple of other (not so) quick errands, and then we spent the afternoon outside doing some yard work. Our yard desperately needed some love and attention and we gave it some. Yay!

Before I share "before" and "after" photos, here are some "during" photos!
Plants waiting to be planted
Rachel and I taking a break after putting in some hard work. The kids played about half the time and did useful yard work about half the time. I call that a win!
The kids wanted to dig somewhere and Dave and I told them they could dig up the hard packed dirt which used to be underneath two huge (out of control) bushes, and where, eventually, we want to plant grass seed.
Rachel also did some (approved!) digging in the front bed.
Dave trimmed all the grass along the side of the house! Yay!!!
The planter on the left is yellow snapdragons and alyssum. The hanging basket on the right is strawflowers and biden. I can't wait to see how these fill out this summer.
Rachel picked these dandelions for me for Mother's Day. I love them!

Here are some "before" and "after" photos for you, mostly because I need affirmation as to how much work we got done and you will be able to appreciate it more if you see how far it came!

It's a little hard to see in the picture, but on the right hand side, underneath the window, you will notice that that area was completely dominated by two green bushes. I think the people who lived here before us didn't pay much attention to the yard, and those bushes got quite large. A few weeks ago, Dave and I decided that we needed to trim them back. One of the them cut back quite nicely. The other one had about a foot of greenery and then was totally dead and brown inside, so we quickly decided to trim it down to the ground.
This bed isn't quite finished but here's a little "after" shot. The bush on the left is much nicer, and smaller. The bush on the right is gone. Dave sawed the rest of the trunk off on Saturday. There was already a hydrangea and a hosta in that area, between the two bushes, and I put two more hydrangeas in there. I will fill the rest in with annuals, but hopefully in a couple of years it will just be beautifully full of hydrangeas, which is much better than two crazy bushes. And the dirt in front of the beds is where the bushes were growing out to. We will plant grass and this whole area will look amazing. In about a year, or two :)
Side yard, before. All the grass alongside the house needed to be trimmed, which we can't do with the lawn mower. And since we rarely see this area, it's easy to forget about.
Side yard, after. Dave put a lot of hard work into this and it looks so much better now. We need to decide if we'll plant some grass seed along the side of the house or just the let the grass fill in naturally.
Front bed, before. It needed weeding, desperately.
Front bed, after. I gave most of my time and attention to this bed. It got weeded and I planted some annuals in there. Sadly, I didn't have enough so we had to go back to the garden centre for more. I was very sad about that! Ha ha ha! Unfortunately, I haven't had time to finish planting this bed yet so it's a bit of a work in progress. And given that it's supposed to freeze in a couple of nights I have to decide where I stand in the "get things planted" versus "I don't want to cover up everything" spectrum of things.
Light post bed, before. It also needed some weeding, especially along the front, and as it turned out, there were quite a few fall leaves still hiding in there. Plus, it needed a basket hanging from the light. 
Light post bed, after. See how all the weeds are gone! And the leaves, but you can't tell.
And that was pretty much the extent of our yard work for Saturday. Now I am just waiting for some energy, a nice day, and some time because I have more flowers to plant.

And I think our backyard could use a little attention :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Little Before And After: Haircut Edition

Rachel and I both got haircuts yesterday, so here's a little "before" and "after" for you :)



Also, in the twenty-four hours between which these pictures were taken the temperature went from 26C (80F) to 9C (47F) with a risk of frost. Fun times.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Sam And Rachel's Point Of View

Today was going to be the day that I told you all about our glorious, postponed, Mother's Day celebration. Saturday was a good day (some of which I'll tell you about later this week), and I went to bed that night, ready to lead worship on Sunday morning and then spend the rest of the day celebrating. Dave had worked hard to plan for the day, including taking the kids grocery shopping for our special Mother's Day supper. But...

You knew there was a "but" didn't you? Because you're intuitive like that. Yeah, but...

...I woke up Sunday morning with the gift which just keeps on giving in our house, the stomach flu. After throwing up a few times, I determined I wasn't able bodied enough to lead worship, and found someone who could step in for me.

At this point, I will just take a few sentences to describe what leading worship entails at our church. You get a theme for the service, including the scripture readings, and then you consult with the preacher to see what their focus is going to be. Then you come up with the order of the service, including picking the hymns, a call to worship, an offering prayer, and a benediction. Then you find someone to tell the children's story and read the scripture readings. The song leader and pianist are already chosen for each week but you do need to communicate with them as to what hymns you have chosen.

Then on Sunday morning, you lead the congregation through the service. Since I had already done all the preliminary work, and written out all the words to join the various parts of worship together, I just needed to find someone who could read what I had written and lead the service. I did that and crawled back into bed.

And then I slept pretty much straight through until the next morning, except when I was awake to throw up or to drink a little bit of water or ginger ale. It was a beautiful day.

Thankfully, yesterday was a holiday (Victoria Day), and Dave was off work so I could spend the morning recuperating. We managed a quick trip to a garden centre for more flowers (such a shame -- needing to get more flowers!), and then a quick visit with Tim and Janice. And now this morning I am feeling better enough to get on with life and, honestly, also to be resentful that I spent two-thirds of the first long weekend of summer too sick to enjoy it. Blah.

I was going to share this post next week but since my long weekend plans did not go as anticipated, you get it today. On Friday night, the kids took the camera along as we did the flyer route. It's so intriguing to me what they picked up on. First up, pictures around our yard:
Along the flyer route:
Left: Our garbage and recycling day was on Friday, 
so this is a close up of an empty recycling bin.
Sam wanted to be sure to get a picture of this Canadian flag.
Your flyers are delivered!
Family photo by Sam
Family photo by Rachel
So there you have it, our flyer route from Sam and Rachel's point of view.