May 31, 2020
It's hard not to feel the World's sadness. It's all around us and not just for one event or experience. The death of an innocent man by a police officer, who exerted excessive, unnecessary force ~ his death is not the first in the U.S. because of race and likely won't be the last; the global Covid Pandemic, with millions afflicted with a variety of horrendous symptoms and hundreds of thousands of painful deaths; unpredictable and dangerous weather, creating havoc, damage and sometimes injuries or deaths; World leaders with unscrupulous agendas and economies that are effected by all the above. How do we rise above all of this? What will it take for our World to heal again?
Covid has created a great deal of anxiety in our home, in our quiet little cottage in the woods but we've figured out how to make the best of a terrible experience. And in the end, we've found a number of activities to keep our spirits bright. There are days we've even not thought about the Pandemic and instead focused on our extra time together, working on projects, cultivating our garden and reconnecting in ways that have created new memories. We've been home for 12 weeks and though it's been tough, it's also been a surreal experience that we've been blessed to have experienced. We mourn those who have become ill and especially the families who are missing their precious loved ones. But the chance to "reset" life and have time to make changes has been a time that has increased our gratitude for every single moment.
Today, after being awake for part of the night watching CNN, we took a break. I'm sure all my blogging buddies who live in U.S. are exhausted today. We feel your pain, your anxiety, your tiredness. But we had to shut it down for a bit. We worked in the garden a bit, made a quick call to see if the outdoor furniture we've saved for all Winter was in stock now that it's on sale. It was, so we drove in to town. And because we have this lucky streak, though they had 4 sets in stock in boxes, the store manager heard the front desk ask if someone could assist us in getting the boxes out for us to take home, and he came down to meet us. This was because someone else in the community (the wife in a partnership) had bought a set, had it delivered, put it together and then the husband in the partnership was livid the purchase was made, so back to the store it went. And guess what was offered to us today? A completely put together conversation set, without a mark on it anywhere (we checked) at a further discount because it was out of the box ~ it was already on sale for an amazing price so this was an extra bonus. Had just come back in so it wasn't even out on the floor, so NO one had sat on it. And we wouldn't have a bunch of boxes, plastic and papers to deal with. It took us 2 trips to get it safely stowed in dh's Honda Pilot (love this vehicle with it's truck hauling capability without being an actual truck) and by noon, it was set up on our new deck, looking pretty and just enough of a vintage feel to make me smile the rest of the day. Photos to follow. We stopped at the grocery store on the 2nd trip back to the cottage and bought some items for a bbq. And our favorite bookstore was open today, so we stopped in for a few moments and realized how much we missed being inside a bookstore. One of my favorite Brit magazines (Country Living) was in stock and this filled my heart. Drove home, put the last pieces of the furniture out, put the few groceries away (after washing everything off), set my magazine in the living room for another day to read, and then headed back out to work in the garden a bit more. This didn't last too long as the predicted storm started and we're now listening to the rain hit the house, the trees dancing in the wind but thankfully the thunder and lightening the City got didn't venture out this far (as least not just yet). Hopefully the wind calms down and we can just enjoy the rain and the good it's doing for the garden.
Tonight has been lovely with laughter and good food. But deep down, the sadness is still there. Tomorrow, in our community, so far away and removed from the protests in the States, there is a planned peaceful protest at our Provincial Legislature Building. I'm sad to not participate but at the same time, I'm running our new Widow's Grief Support Group online. My heart will be in both places as we help an amazing group of widow's heal and as I support those who are speaking out for the voices that have been silenced. My wish is for the World to stop, think, heal and love. Be well. Wear a mask. Stay safe. Speak up. Protest. Make it right. But do it well. Without harm. Namaste to all.
I am beyond excited to share that the
tiny rosebush we planted last year is back!
I wasn't sure but saw a few tiny leaf buds
the other day. And look at it today! We're
having a big storm at the moment, so the
rain is giving it a great soaking. Excited!
May 30, 2020
Each day when I sit at my desk, I have
big 4 beautiful windows to look out of. It
can be distracting at times but I love my
view from desk. A pretty sight most days.
My favorite, sturdy mug with warm tea on
a very cold, very windy and very rainy day.
The lace curtains would be still, then whip
around until the breeze would stop and calm.
I have to figure out what to put above the
vintage dresser. More pictures? A shelf?
The window seat is going to have a small
makeover this Summer. Looking for to the
change, as tiny as it will be. Sometimes the
smallest changes have the biggest impact!
It was raining yesterday morning and again today. I love it when it rans and I love it for the garden. But hoping the promised sunshine does show up a bit later today. We want to finish staining the decks and getting our new plants in to the front beds and around the side. Our neighbors are also coming over to help dismantle little guys bunk set for their little guy as he graduates up to a bigger bed. Mama bought herself a new bedroom set so he's getting her queen sized bed frame, new mattress and her big dresser and nightstands. He's so excited, she's thrilled and our neighbor's son is over the moon! But we do need a bit of time without rain to get the pieces over to their house down the lane.
I love to see how cozy the cottage looks on rainy days. Muted light, enough that lamps on mid morning are needed, which adds to the cozy feel. I had counselling clients all day yesterday and had my windows open where my desk is upstairs (my husband has been using the secretary desk while working from home ~ that's his laptop you see there) and a few of them commented they could hear the rain! It wasn't a hard downfall but enough to make sound. Later the sun came out and I actually did one session sitting on the back deck, with the smell of rain still in the air. It was heavenly. I have group today and depending on the weather at that time, I hope to either be sitting at my desk with windows open or sitting outside in the promised sunshine while my teen group participants enjoy their session online.
Have you had some rainy days this Spring?
What are your grand plans for this day?
May 29, 2020
I have big dreams of having a tiny
lavender farm one day. Love the scent.
My Munstead Lavender has sprouted
from last year in the front garden. I've
also got seedlings growing out on the
back deck. And we picked up these 2
sweet pots at Costco a few weeks ago.
They will go in the garden soon but our
nights have been a bit cool, so I bring
them in to stay warm when it's frosty
outside. Tonight I've actually left both
outside on the front veranda. They will
be okay now that it's warmer this week.
Love the look and the fragrance ....
May 26, 2020
After several days of sun and heat, we woke up to the
sound of rain pitter pattering on the roof. Dark skies, a bit
of wind gusts and rain that was light but went on for
hours. I love sunny days but my favorite is a rainy day,
a time for being cozy in our cottage, with tea, a good book,
a warm throw and music in the background. Some days,
it's even perfect for the fireplace to be going. We all had
Zoom meetings this morning and lots to keep us busy with
work. By lunch time, the rain was lighter and lighter and
soon stopped. I had to turn off my lamp on my desk as it
was then too bright. I love working by lamplight and today
was perfect for that. But it came to end and on with the
day we went. I read that tomorrow may bring dreaded
thunderstorms. Definitely not my favorite experience!
The afternoon became very sunny and at this time of night,
the sun is still shining brightly with no clouds and a breeze
that is keeping the leaves on the trees dancing away. It was
pretty to watch and then I saw the drips of rain falling off
the Pergola, hence the photo below. Can you see the tiny
drops hanging off the beams? I just spotted the top of the
tree in the back that we'll have to get trimmed back this
year as well. In the country, there is always something
to take care of. We found a lovely arborist last year and
just found another, so we have a few options. Out here,
we do need to take down trees that have no leaf growth
so they don't fall on us during bad wind storms. Critical
for sure so we end up with no damage versus having to
call someone out very late at night or during a huge storm.
Today was a mix of rain and sun, a mix of positive and
negative. Sometimes like life, we see it here in both the
seasons, the landscape and within ourselves, our moods
and our progress in life. I'm glad this day had it's sweet
moments and hope the bad stuff is done, for now. I'm
off to take some time before we head to sleep. G'nite!
The boy has not been able to have a
haircut now for more than 10.5 weeks.
So he asked his mama to braid his hair
"like gramma's" and she did it. Today,
the braid came out and his hair is very
wavy, like mine when I do this and take
out the braids the next day. It was pretty
funny and we have a picture to share ....
The buds on all our trees have bloomed
and the light green shade is amazing. I
love how over time this Summer, these
leaves will become darker and darker.
Then suddenly in the very early Fall, they
will change again to shades of yellow,
gold, orange and red. Finally, they will
fall to the ground, leaving these now
very full trees look like skeletons in
the cool air of another changing season.
May 25, 2020
The greatest gift I have received during my life was
the opportunity to raise our children. But they are
now grown, so I have a new love .... gardening my
little "babies" until they grow up! Here's the plants
we chose for our back deck pots. I still have to pick
up a few for the front veranda but wanted to plant
these sweet smelling babies. I should point out that
the one in the top left and the one in the bottom left
photos are actually perennials for the front garden. I
never knew I would love gardening like kids so much!
May 24, 2020
Sleeping during this Pandemic was really hard at
the beginning. But now that things have become
more settled in our community, I seem to be able
to sleep a lot better at night. Not so tired during
the day and no commute is helping too. Hopefully
when life returns soon, we'll still get a good sleep!
May 22, 2020
Though my Strep Throat has improved,
I'm now out of meds and will have to
call our family doctor today for the next
steps. My throat is still raw and it hurts
to eat. But dh has come up with some
great dinners that don't hurt as much. I
loved this one the best .... soft rice with
green peas (mushy ones) and tender dill
infused salmon. So good. I could eat
this every single day! Maybe I should!!
My dh surprised me with beautiful flowers in a
sweet little wooden box on Mother's Day this
year. None of the stores were open for gifts, so
he thought this was the next best thing, along
with a heartfelt card and the best dinner ever. I
wasn't expecting anything and told him so. But
I felt so loved that he still found a way to make
this day extra special. Our kids were so sweet too!
May 19, 2020
May 18, 2020
Thank you for the sweet and kind comments on my scary post yesterday. I am so thankful for the diagnosis of strep throat vs. the diagnosis of Covid! I can't imagine what that would be like both for the individual battling this virus and their family and friends. So very thankful to not be on that journey. I'm definitely appreciative of every breath I can take at the moment. And so grateful for all of you. You keep me humble! Far away friends that make my day bright.
I'm still not 100% but managed to help dh yesterday with the greenhouse base and decking. The base is built and so solid. The decking is about 1/2 done, with the rest laid out. I did stain the lower deck with it's second coat and then started staining the greenhouse deck, and managed to get 1/4 of that done before we ended our day @ 4:30. It was hot but there was a breeze all day and some cloud so we made better progress than the day before when it was scorching and no cloud cover or breeze. Today we've woken up to dark skies, some rain and thunder in the distance. It's supposed to be like this all day, with thunderstorms until about dinner time. Tomorrow is not too bad then it becomes a pattern of rainy, cold days until the weekend again, when it's supposed to be another couple of hot and sunny days. Looking forward to planting our veggie patch then. We had hoped for this weekend but I still need more soil and the nighttime temps are still a bit low so we'll wait until next week. On our shopping trip to Costco the other day, we picked up 6 perennials (large and medium and so healthy) and 2 tall lavender bushes. I've got lavender growing in the garden and will be using the greenhouse to cultivate my own little lavender farm. But these are sweet trees in a lovely pot and they look amazing on the front veranda. I will likely plant them in the front garden once the season is close to the end. For now, a beautiful addition to our quiet spot that is perfect for sunsets. Quiet and peaceful, a great spot to read.
With the rain today, my plan is to work on the art studio. We painted walls last week and now it's time to put everything back in its place. And then I need to bin up the Winter boots that are still sitting in the mudroom. Getting a bit too crowded, so off to the garage storage room they go. This week, while the rain keeps us inside, I'm hoping to also tidy up the garage, sort and flatten the cardboard that has accumulated, continue to bag and box up donations (loving all the purging that is happening), continue to dream about what's next on our landscaping plan, and work on case notes and puzzles. Not an exciting week but one I'm looking forward too. I also need to find dirt and we had our eyes and hearts set on a new conversation set for the deck but it's now sold out online, so I want to pen a letter to the store to see if it will be back in stock this year. Looks like from reviews it's been a staple for a number of years now so hoping it will come back in. If not, we'll have to start our search all over again. We've been watching "Dead to Me" on Netflix, so we'll likely finish that up this week as well. And work a bit on our Festival in August. We'll be doing it online this year, so lots of little details to work out. I personally love rainy days ~ keeps me grounded and cozy inside.
Wishing you an amazing day and hope the rain
stays away from wherever you are!
May 17, 2020
.... and I hope during this crazy Pandemic that I none of my family or friends have to go thru this experience like I had the other day. It has been a fear of mine on a daily basis since this all started and it was surreal to find myself in the midst of that fear this week. On to my adventure!
I woke up early this week with a super sore throat and not feeling 100%. From the start, we have followed every protocol and have even gone beyond the basics. I knew that if I did become ill, at least I could feel better knowing I had done absolutely everything I could have to eliminate the risk. All that went out the door that morning. I was mystified as to how I could have gotten sick. We have had no visitors. We've not had fast food. We've stayed home, except to get groceries and pick up our mail. I spent some time feeling quite terrified and knew that I had to talk with my doctor but really didn't want to go down this path. In the end, legally, I had no choice. So I called her and she asked me to go to the assessment centre that afternoon. An appointment was scheduled and we kept busy all day. My gut told me and my symptoms that this was just strep throat. I've had it enough times to recognize the early signs and knew what was coming my way. But as my doctor said, it could be Covid and we have to know for sure before she can write a prescription. The day seemed to go on for ever. It's all I could think about. I went as far as informing everyone in the house where the key items were and what to do with them, if something drastic was to occur. It actually surprised me to learn how much I am the keeper of the knowledge of what needs to be done and where everything is. That will have to change as one person should have all that info. What if I stepped outside my door and was killed with a falling tree? In the end, this created a new practice of sharing all I hold on to. Prepared we are now.
Finally, it was time to head in to town. With dread and quiet, we drove along to the site. In healthier times, it is our Eco Station. But for now, it has become one of many sites around our Province that have been set up to do the testing for those with symptoms. My appointment was for 4 p.m. and we arrived about 10 minutes before. We were directed by both an RCMP Office (our police force in rural Canada) and an AHS worker (our hospital staff) to drive through a maze to get to the building. We pulled up and waited as it was clear that I was the first in line and that they next round of testing would not start until 4. Within minutes the line up snaked behind us all the way back to the street. Very glad we arrived a bit early. We were instructed to stay in our car the whole time. Finally the door opened and we pulled in. We were greeted by a very gowned up and masked employee was super amazing! She took my info, checked my i.d. and came back a minute later with my kit. I had to open my mouth wide, say "ah" and she took 2 swabs of my throat. Gave me some info on what to do if I tested positive and we were on our way. The whole process took just a few minutes. Grateful for the set up and the cheery crew onsite.
But now the waiting game. We were told it would take 2 to 5 days to get my results back. And until then, my doctor cannot prescribe anything. So home we went, thankful it was done but now even more scared for the results. Tried ice cream and popsicles and even took a Reactine hoping it would reduce some of the swelling in my throat. I wrestled with how to tell my staff and what would happen if it was positive. I went online for a bit but scared myself even more so got busy doing other things, resting in between when I got tired. It was a very long night but finally we headed off to bed. I'm pretty sure I only slept in bits and pieces. Morning was bright and sunny but my throat and body aches were even worse when I woke up. However, I am so thankful for our kind, amazing and caring family doctor, who called me personally to tell me that I must have some sort of good luck on my side as she had never seen a test result come in so fast (came in during the night) and though it is AHS who calls to tell you your results, she knew I needed meds to get the strep to go away. So end result: I am NEGATIVE for Covid and helped my doctor self diagnosis over the phone my strep throat. We picked up my meds that afternoon and though I still feel unwell and the meds have made me quite sick (new drug and it's powerful!), I am grateful for the health care system in place to ensure that I'm not infected and for my compassionate doctor, who knew waiting for "the call" was going to drive me crazy! The call did finally come yesterday but of course by then I had already been diagnosed and drugged for at least 2 days. Hoping the drugs will kick in and work so I get energy back.
My wish is that this is soon over. I am grateful my experience ended with my results and hope that we can continue to stay healthy and away from this virus. But it made me realize even more how many are dealing with all the fears I had (and still have) running through my mind. I can't imagine what it would feel like to get a positive result. Please stay safe, be well and do all you can so that you don't have to live this mini nightmare I experienced this week. It's worth it to take the time to wear a mask and wash down your groceries, to increase your Vitamin D, and eat and sleep well. As hard as it is to stay away from family and friends, it is what we need to do. I know it's frustrating and we all just want to have our "normal" lives back but for now, we keep safe, keep well and this will have a resolution that is healthy for all. Thinking of you all as you follow the protocols and I promise to get back to commenting on your blogs as I get my strength back. Namaste, my blogging buddies!
May 15, 2020
I was able to do a good part of my work
day outside on Wednesday. It was warm,
but not hot, sunny, but not glaring. Truly
a perfect morning to be outside. Between
counselling calls, I started a new book
and managed to get half way thru it by
lunch time. Intriguing and timely as we
all work through this time of quarantine.
Our robins are back so I couldn't resist
this little print from Susan Wheeler on
this overcast day. They like to nest on
our veranda and they've been flitting
around the front garden. However, on
the sunny day I described above, they
were on the trees across from the back
deck. It was like they were watching me
work all morning. Pretty sweet and very
observant. I wonder what they were all
thinking. Hopefully they'll choose the
nest that is still up on the top of one of
the front windows. We prefer them out
the front as when the eggs are nestled
safely in their tiny home, the papa tends
to be aggressive and then we can't sit
outside in that area. Front is better for
now as we love the deck all day but the
veranda is an end of day routine for us.
Can't wait to watch this birthing event!
Have a great day. I'm off to work but
will catch up later with another post.
May 12, 2020
More pictures until my phone is
all better from one of my favorite
artists, Susan Wheeler. I love her
whimsical creations. This one is
a favorite and so timely as I'm a
tea lover and tea has become a
very comforting tool for me this
season as we all battle this virus.
I woke up with a small case of the
sniffles (used only 4 kleenexes) and
have a sore throat, so out came my
throat tea. It's been a cold couple of
days, overcast and even a few flakes
fell from the sky on Sunday. This
made me cozy up with my warmed
up blankets and my soothing tea for
my throat. It's now 4 a.m. and I'm
really wanting another cup but will
wait a bit so I don't wake up my dear
family with the sound of the teapot.
Do you love to drink tea?
What is your favorite flavor?