Thursday, May 31, 2012

Casseroles (pots and pans)

Montreal, May 26 ...

Song translation:

You tell them
You tell them
That it was instinct that
Drove you up to here.

You tell them
You tell them
That your senses were screaming
Deeply driven
By a strange force
Let it be your base camp.
Let it be your base camp.

You tell them
You tell them
That it was intuition that
Drove you up to here
A carelessness
So necessary every now and then
Let it be your base camp.
Let it be your base camp.

Source: here

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Queen Victoria does it again, hip hip hurrah

Ah Victoria Day, glorious Victoria Day! Apparently a Canadian tradition since before there was such a thing as a Canadian tradition.

Here in Nova Scotia the Victoria Day weekend is notorious for rotten weather, but this year it fails to live up to its reputation. Warm, sunny, even hot. My lawn is overgrown again, the chestnut is in full bloom, the entire town redolent of lilac and cherry blossom. And the mosquitoes are just starting.

The heat is too much for Hapi, she is very grumpy with every dog she meets. In a couple of days though she goes to the groomer to lose as much of her fur coat as possible without turning into a whippet. Hopefully her mood will improve. 

The garden is mostly planted, I put my transplants into the ground before the Victoria Day weekend, which is verging on sacrilegious but they were getting awfully leggy, I had to do something. So I am past the hard work part of spring gardening. I could be doing more, but I won't. Most of the transplants are OK, a couple of tomatilloes keeled over. I am now trying to start some morning glories and climbing nasturtiums to grow around the garden fence.

On Friday we went to the Kentville Ravine just in time to meet up with 4 or 5 dog walkers and their dogs, the dog pack romped through the brook and the trees and had a lovely time. One walker who lived nearby talked about how he thought about forming a group to take care of this lovely spot, but then he thought about all the people who would be attracted to the ravine if it was cleaner and safer, and how they would not be happy about all the off-leash dogs, and how they would insist on the enforcement of dog leash bylaws, at which point he abandoned the idea.

Later in the day I went to see the movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, which I loved. The music and cinematography were quite wonderful and the story lovely. Actually several stories but all linked. You probably have to be over 50 to appreciate it though.

On Saturday we went up the Gaspereau River. The mosquitoes were out in force. I brought along Off Botanical repellent---it is supposed to be based on an extract of lemon eucalyptus rather than DEET---and tried it out. I got one mosquito bite before putting it on, and none after. It is supposed to be only good for a couple of hours and that was how long our walk was, so I pleased with that. The woods of course were lovely, the ostrich ferns (that's the fiddlehead fern that you can eat) were almost fully unfurled and quite pretty. The trilliums are done but the trees are all leafed out now and we walked through a kind of meadow along the river that was so full of violets that I could not step anywhere without crushing one or two.

On Sunday I went to see the Anne of Green Gables musical playing at the ATF. My friend Carolyn had a starring role as Mirella. She's been involved in local theatre on a very amateur basis up until recently, this year she is taking on more challenging roles and is just fabulous. She had one song in Anne that brought tears to my eyes, and I am not a terribly sentimental type. There were five performances over the weekend and they sold out every one, which is excellent. Even so they probably only broke even, the costs of mounting such a production are quite high. Carolyn said it was such a privilege to be in this production, she was so impressed by the talent surrounding her. 

Today Hapi and I walked over to Carolyn's via the reservoir to congratulate her on her performance, on the way I met up with another dog walker and we chatted our way around the reservoir. I mentioned that I was going to get Hapi a wading pool and she told me she had one in her basement she'd like to get rid of so would I please come by on my way home.

At Carolyn's Hapi stayed in the fenced backyard with Carolyn's dog Ava. Ava has had the experience of Hapi digging up one of her bones so she kept a very close eye on Hapi, following her all around the yard. If Hapi squatted to pee, then Ava moved in to do the same. Hapi did check all the places Ava usually buries bones, but did not find any.

Carolyn's backyard is full of forget-me-nots, one of my favourite wildflowers. We sat in the sun and admired the flowers. She won't mow her lawn until they are done flowering so the grass is pretty high. fortunately the forget-me-nots are higher, the backyard is a sea of blue with ribbons of green and dots of yellow (dandelions).

I had a significant computer mishap this past week, I won't go into the details suffice to say that I am quite annoyed with Microsoft and the store I bought the computer at. Carolyn's son is enough of a geek that he thinks he might be able to come up with a partial fix, even though I have been categorically told by Those In The Know that it is not possible. Well, at this point the computer and its contents are a write-off so anything he can do will be a bonus and if he fails I am no deeper in trouble than I am already. My one dilemma is that I probably need to buy another computer and there aren't a lot of choices here of places to do that. I may be forced to deal with people I really don't want to. We shall see.

I am sitting on my back deck gazing at blue sky and flowering chestnut, it's hot but I am in the shade and there is a breeze and the scent of lilac. Hapi is under the deck lying on the cool earth there. A little female goldfinch just flew onto my deck looking for food, it left again after a few moments. The birdfeeder is out front.

It is just a gorgeous day.

Which I am soon going to disrupt with my lawnmower. the one downside of great spring weather, it necessitates lawnmowing.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

May be...

The kayak trip was scheduled for this week, from Tuesday to Saturday. I bowed out, I did not want to leave Hapi for that long. This would be the first time, and I just felt it was too long for a first time. However, I was not the only one who could not manage 5 days, only two women went. Looks like they are getting good weather for the trip.

Instead, I am planning to go on an all-day trip with a couple of the women who could not make it for the 5 day trip. We intend to cover the same route, but much faster obviously. And, as luck would have it, we might get some rain. I have a dogsitter lined up for Hapi, she will take Hapi for a full day and one night as a trial run. Michelle runs a doggy daycare and also keeps dogs overnight as needed. She does not have a kennel, she just keeps the dogs in the house with her own dogs. Some friends of mine use her doggy daycare service and are quite happy with it. I am kind of looking forward to this, I am hoping it works out and I can do it again sometime.

The route we are kayaking will be about 16-18 km, paddling with the current along a canal and through two lakes. One lake is long and narrow and we might encounter wind in the wrong direction there, but hopefully not. We will leave one car at the end so that we can drive back to the start to pick up the other car. The black flies are just starting to make their presence known, but not too bad yet. I was walking in the woods with Hapi near where we will be kayaking the other day and I did not encounter any.

One of the places we walk regularly, the Acadia woods, has a small pond with four goldfish in it. The pond is actually an old well, so it is steep-sided and you can't wade into it. Hapi is totally fixated on those fish. Whenever we go to the woods she has to go to the pond, and when I get bored of watching her pacing around the pond staring at the fish, I have to drag her away. I think she hopes that if she waits long enough one day a fish will jump right into her mouth.


The fish...

The garden is now fenced and the paths between the raised beds mulched with the remains of the spruce trees.I had to fence because Hapi likes to dig, and she thinks the manure in the garden is tasty. She was already digging up the peas before I got this fence up. It takes up a lot of space, it seems to dominate my backyard now. But of course, besides the grass the other plants are only beginning to emerge.

Speaking of, I have to mow today, the grass is getting quite long. I seem to have done something to my ankle, I think I have tendinitis in it. Which is bad, with a big dog I can't stay off of it and of course that is how you treat such things. Also fence-building, mulching and mowing are not things I should be doing either.

Kayaking should be good for it though.