Saturday, September 6, 2014

My Wasp Attack

Went for a walk. Had a nice breakfast. Was reading the paper when I decided to head out to the garden to pull weeds, as the soil was soft from the previous night's storm, cleanup and spread soil and grass seed as another gardening season is coming to a close.

I was almost done with the front yard, snipping a few dried leaves, when I felt a sting and saw a wasp on my left wrist. As I brushed it off, I felt stings on my right arm and leg. At the same time, a number of its family members came out of a bush and flew around me. I screamed, dropped the snippers and ran for the front door. 

Some time ago, the door would have been unlocked but since reading about opportunistic thieves who enter the front door while the homeowner is in the backyard, I always  lock the door.  That's all well and good to thwart a robbery but not while trying to evade angry insects as I tried  to get the key in the lock with one hand while waving the other around my head. 

I finally got the door unlocked, rushed in and saw a few wasps were now on the inside with me; great. I stripped by the door and rushed to the kitchen sink to wash my arms while wondering if I would have a bad reaction to the stings and how to get these pests on the inside back outside. 

As there was no reaction apart from feeling like I had rubbed a scotch bonnet pepper on parts of my skin, I quickly showered. Back downstairs, I could see a few wasps buzzing around the front porch and wasn't about to open the door to shoo the inside wasps out and invite outside wasps in. I'm sorry to say, I had no choice but to swat them; it was them or me. 

At some point I have to retrieve the snippers and yard waste bag, put them in the garage and figure out how to deal with a nest  of easily provoked wasp, living in my garden. 

Last winter, with its abundance of snow and ice and all the shovelling I had to do, condo living was looking quite attractive. If I have to dress like a beekeeper to do my gardening, moving to a condo and spending Saturday mornings relaxing with the paper is looking pretty darn good. 

Will keep you posted. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

This is August, Right?

The calendar says it's August but the temperature tells me it's a nice autumn day.

What happened to hot August days when all you wanted to do was moan and complain about the heat and find some shade, preferably with a tall, cold drink? Where are those dog days of summer when we hear about people trying to fry eggs on a hot sidewalk?

Do you remember kids in bathing suits running through sprinklers or splashing in wading pools? When was the last time you saw any of this? Or for that matter, when was the last time you saw two or more sun icons in a row with no hint of cloud, on an extended weather forecast?

Normally, I would take this cool summer in stride but after a winter of ice storms and lots of snow, I don't think it was too much to ask for some warmth this time of year. Spring was cooler than expected and the snow took forever to melt. July brought lots of rain; fine, great for our gardens. What if a picnic we look forward to each year was rained out? Not to worry; at least August will bring the sun.  August will have heat to warm our bones. We told ourselves we are bound to have that elusive summer in good old August.

Well here we are, the middle of August and it is cold, not cool, cold. The kind of temperature that would be perfect in October and has me seriously considering turning on the heat. Who leaves home these days without a sweater, scarf or light jacket? In all honesty, Autumn is my favourite season but still, I do miss real summer weather; not the stifling hot days but warm, sunny days broken by a few showers here and there. I have to say: August, you've disappointed me.

I always get a kick walking into Costco in August and seeing winter coats on display. Who, in the middle of hot, sunny August, is thinking of winter coats? Well, looks like Costco is onto this weather thing and maybe we should be stocking up on warm apparel just in case September rolls in with a bad attitude as if an icicle is stuck up its butt.

Will keep you posted.

Monday, June 23, 2014


Summer is here and to help welcome it and set the stage for fun, sun, parades, festivals, picnics, BBQs and just plain old hanging out in the yard or park, have a listen to, Summertime from Porgy and Bess.

I've loved this song from the first time I heard it and a few years back when I took singing lessons, (why no one is banging on my door to offer a contract is a mystery:), this song  was part of my repertoire.

A wonderful song for a fun-filled time of year. Ella Fitzgerald, among others, sang it beautifully. Sam Cooke's version is my favourite, however, for sheer fun, here's Billy Stewart's rendition. Kick back and have a listen. Shaking of body parts is encouraged.

Happy Summer! 

Will keep you posted. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day to Single Mothers

One of my daughters just wished me a Happy Father's Day. I actually laughed out loud and then gave this some serious thought, because as a divorced single mother, raising three daughters on my own before the eldest was even ten, I have had to be both mother and father to my girls. 

It was not always easy but I am so happy I was able to raise my daughters and provide some wisdom to help them  along the way to adulthood. It helped that I was raised by both parents, Charles and Viola, and I drew on their guidance to help me guide my daughters. 

Single mothers, don't despair. Do the best you can and be available for one-on-one discussions with your kids (by the way, this part never ends:). You won't have all the answers but I believe your children will appreciate a genuine effort. Years go by quickly and in the blink of an eye, they will be adults making their own way through life, hopefully drawing on the guidance you provided. 

So, to all you women who singlehandedly raised your children, providing motherly and fatherly advice, have a Happy Father's Day! You've earned it.  

Will keep you posted. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Gorgeous Spring Day

Finally, a gorgeous spring day and appreciated after our long, wild winter. So many people are out and about making the most of the lovely sunshine and mild temperatures but I do believe those enjoying it  most are my cats. I let them in the backyard and they are rolling around on the patio, stretching out in the sunshine and claiming a prime seat to survey their domain. They know how to appreciate a great day.

Nothing is yet sprouting in my garden, usually crocuses would be up by now and tulips and daffodils would be peeking out. Lots of work to be done raking the beds and lawn; so many leaves since raking was cut short when the weather changed so quickly last fall and I don't ever remember seeing so many pine cones. Raking those should be fun. 

Anyway, nicer weather is here and I will be back in the garden soon. In the meantime, I will be like a kitty and enjoy the sunshine, without the rolling around on the patio although that may be therapeutic.

Will keep you posted.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Spring, Where Are You?

Purple Tulips
Spring officially arrived last week according to the calendar. By all other markers, it's no where in sight; well, not 100% true. I can hear birds singing and the few days of sunshine we've had, I could feel the promise of spring in the air. However, I am still wearing winter gear and won't think of taking a chance on heading out in dress shoes because in the space of a few hours, I would be slipping and sliding across icy patches or getting cold slush on my feet.

It has been quite a winter with ice storms which severely damaged trees, lots of snow (I know there is a lawn somewhere under the mounds of ice and snow) and cold temperatures which helped to curtail my early morning walks. I could have braved the temperatures as I am used to walking throughout winter but dared not take a chance on the icy walkways this time around. Bad enough trying to navigate such conditions on two feet so why tempt fate and have to do it with a cast and crutches.

I don't believe a change of seasons was looked forward to so eagerly as this spring; even my cats are ready; they have been braving the cold porch in anticipation. Winter has overstayed its welcome like a bad guest and I am ready to, once again, feel the warm spring sun on my face, see the promising green shoots in the garden, watch the birds at the birdbath, start working the earth again and imagining what my garden will be like this year.

I'll be patient a little while longer as the wait for spring weather will not be as long as the winter we just left. Then again, what choice do I have?

Will keep you posted.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Sad Anniversary

It's been a year since I got the shocking news my good friend had died suddenly. What a start it was to 2013.

To say I miss her would be an understatement. I think about her all the time and still find myself longing for one of our long phone calls where we would be reminiscing and laughing about childhood antics and stories about life in our old country. I miss our how-are-things-this-is-just-a-quick-call-to-check-on-you which sometimes was really short and other times could be a good old-fashioned gabfest.

Her birthday came and I remembered, just no card this time. Same with Christmas. For whatever reason, I never got around to sending out Christmas cards. The box made it to the dining room table but nothing further happened to it except to be put back from whence it came. I received cards from friends and one was from my friend's daughter who had decided to follow her Mom's tradition and send cards to her Mom's friends.

To make sure family and friends did not think I was letting go of a tradition I love, I called everyone on my Christmas card list, and my friend's daughter as well, to wish them a Merry Christmas.  It was the first Christmas without my friend but her daughter stepped up to keep one of her mother's traditions alive making an old friend very happy.

It was indeed a year of firsts without her but she will always be remembered, even as we move towards the second and subsequent anniversaries. Good friends are remembered fondly. We should live life in such a way that when we are gone, we are missed and remembered fondly.

 Will keep you posted.