CDR for July 27, 2020 – Monday – Loons are my favorite bird

Almonte City Hall

This morning we took a drive to Almonte where we met up with George and Pat. Pat and Carmen visited Textile Traditions, and Pat got the fabric she needed to finish that quilt. And she got some other beautiful fabric and some thread. Pat is an influencer. I (Carmen) was influenced. I was only looking for a seam ripper (because I keeps losing the one ripper I have.) I got two seam rippers. But I also got 4 meters of fabric. Two of them are in the green color range, one a pretty batik flower print and the other a multi-shade green. The bigger find of the morning was a loon print, and a coordinating blue fabric that the shopkeeper called a “coral” print. What will I do with this? Hm. We shall see. Not masks.

Loon fabric!! Loons are my favorite bird.

Almonte is a small town of less than 6000 people that is being gentrified, with coffeehouses, craft shops, and antique shops. The city hall is a marvelous building, complete with a BLM banner and a Pride flag. Last year we went to the Celtic festival and to the county fair at Almonte.

The US does not have a corner on the Stupid Market. Yesterday, in Brampton, Ontario, the city police and the bylaw patrol broke up a party. There were about 200 people attending, and the organizers of the party had arranged for security staff to act as parking valets. They also built a raised fence to hide the activity on their property from their neighbors. Brampton is a suburban city of about 550,000 people, a little northwest of Toronto. Because Toronto’s COVID numbers are still deemed too high, the Toronto area remains in Phase 2 of re-opening. The limit on gatherings of people not in your bubble is 10 people, even in Phase 3. The fine for having a party over 10 people is steep. If it’s a normal offense, it is $880, and the party organizers got this slap-on-the-wrist fine automatically. However, because of the enormity of their dangerous behavior, these people are also facing a possible fine of $100,000.

Be well. Stay safe. Be vigilant, and don’t go to big parties.

CDR for July 25, 2020 – Saturday – making and doing

Today there was weeding in the front garden. Stuart cut the grass. I studied French and practiced piano. (Yeah, that piano was getting pretty lonely.) I worked on clearing/cleaning the den. There’s open space now, but there’s much more to do. A few pear-shaped tomatoes have started to ripen so I picked them. The round tomatoes are getting paler and paler. We don’t know what color they will be when ripe. Hm.

Stuart worked on the GP9 engine. He needed a specific kind of glue and a small glue gun and glue sticks, so we went to the dollar store for a fun outing. We also picked up a curbside fabric order. The small fabric shop called Maker Savvy is very strict about spacing people in their store and has a lot of fabric on line, which is a lot of work to maintain. I got 2 yards of each of the pictured fabrics for $10 CDN a yard, quite a reasonable price. Maker Savvy also sells Bernina sewing machines and quilting machines, and has classes and quilt-alongs. We’re happy support local small businesses.

Be well. Stay safe. Be strong.               

CDR for July 24, 2020 – Friday – knitting, celebrating, mask making

It was warm here, and it will continue to be warm through the weekend. Stuart worked on the G9 (locomotive) and successfully removed the track-power components to make space for the battery-power components. He’s studying the wiring diagrams. It’s not cookie-cutter simple.

We celebrated Kathleen’s successful passing of the civil service French exams tonight with steak. roasted corn and champagne. Kathleen and Sam have been doing impressive work on their house and yard, including installing a new privacy fence which is very nice indeed. We had dinner on the deck. Kathleen’s Dad (Stuart) is very proud of her and them.

Today I spend a lot of time working on mask making. I completed 6 masks and worked on components for dozens more. Since we are wearing masks so often and will be wearing them for so long, the objective has changed from making masks for necessity to making them to be interesting, attractive, and easy to wear. The fun fabric I worked with today included floral, fishes, and flashy stripes with dots and daisies.

I have been knitting, too. The photo today is of the scrap blanket. It has 4 rows of 5 squares and continues to develop personality. Slippers are my carry-around project since blankets are not very fun to carry around in the heat of summer. When I finish a pair of slippers, the leftover yarn from the slippers becomes a part of the blanket. I am working on slippers in hot-pink, red and orange. Those scraps may show up in the 5th row of 5 squares. I’m waiting for Michael’s to have a yarn sale to get some more colors – first for slippers and then for the blanket.

Be well. Stay safe. Creating, building, making – it will be good for your soul.

CDR for July 22, 2020 – Wednesday – more signs

We went for a walk in the morning. We went to the grocery store for milk and eggs, got several other things, and it came to $42, not too bad. There were not many people in the store, all were wearing masks, and most were following the arrows on the floor. The floor signs in Food Basics have been improved, changing from colored tape to arrow stickers. The store also figured out that the first aisle, the baking products aisle, should be walked from the back to the front, not the front to the back, because the flow of people is first through the produce section to the back to the bread, and then from the back of the store to down the first aisle. (I’m sure this doesn’t make sense. But neither did the old floor arrows, and they fixed them!)

Some stores have a problem. Look at the photo. The aisle direction arrow points ‘south’ and the foot prints point ‘north’. I think this is a mistake, unless the idea is that you should hop backwards down this aisle.

I’m making yogurt tonight, which I had stopped because it is only a little more expensive to just buy Greek yogurt at Costco. However, we decided not to Costco this week, and Greek yogurt is $5 a container, and I can make 3 containers with $4.50 worth of milk. So.

I also weeded some in the front beds before it rained, and Stuart devised a tie-up system for the green bin, since a critter has learned that if it tips the green bin, the top will pop off even if it is properly locked. And the critter pulls out the contents for its dinner and doesn’t clean up afterwards.

That’s my story to day.

Be well. Stay safe. The signs are there, some more obvious than others.

CDR for July 21, 2020 – Tuesday – photos from our walk

Kanata Lake

These pictures show you Kanata Lake, otherwise known as the beaver pond. It is a storm water drain for the area, but you have to admit, quite beautiful. It’s much prettier than Constance Lake, for example.

Kanata Lake

This morning I resolved a banking issue, wrote some emails and we went for a walk. We saw some wild flowers – Queen Anne’s Lace, thistles, staghorn sumac in full bloom – as well as lots of wild clover, and weeds I can’t name. This afternoon we worked out the diameter of some curved track we have to work with, entertained friends on the porch, made phone calls, got a phone call appointment for me with a physician (to get medication refills), and made an interesting pork roast in the Instant Pot and ratatouille (on the stove) for dinner. And the day isn’t over.

Be well. Stay safe. Keep working at it.

CDR for July 20, 2020 – Monday and another Xfinity password reset???

This is the second time this week I’ve had to reset my Xfinity ID. I have no idea why. They have a message they sometimes send that they think they have a security violation. Why is Xfinity having security violations?

Today I included photos of Constance Lake. It’s not far from our house. There’s no public access except a boat ramp. If you park at the boat ramp the owners of the land charge you $10. There’s a seaplane facility, but it’s small. A pilot can skirt the Ottawa area and fly a fisherman to Constance Lake and lead the fisherman to believe he’s in the middle of nowhere. No one was out there fishing, and no one was paying $10 to park. Maybe that’s due to the heat. It has been very warm here.

Today I solved a banking problem, made sous vide cheesecake, did some laundry, studied French, and sewed face mask components.

Be well. Stay safe, guys. We need to stop all this bitching and get together. The whole world.

CDR for July 19, 2020 – Sunday – Crossings

In the Ottawa area, street and traffic signs are in English and French. In Quebec, street signs are in French, period. Some signs, though, are not affected by language. Nevertheless, there are local differences. Here are the deer crossing signs in Ontario and in Quebec. I maintain that Quebec’s deer crossing sign (or signe de croisement de cerfs) shows a much happier deer than the deer in Ontario.

I have also included a photo of the Ontario turtle crossing sign. I don’t know whether there’s an equivalent Quebec sign (or signe de croisement de tortue.)

Signe de croisement de tortue

I got too involved in gardening, and became lax with my French studies (and piano practice.) I’m back on the French studies.

Be well. Stay safe. Be careful and watch for the turtles.

CDR for July 17, 2020 – Friday – some surprises

Even in a short growing season, succession planting makes sense. I planted a flat of beets and another of spinach – and of course, did a little weeding. If vegetables grew as fast as weeds, no one in this country would be hungry.

It was a shopping day. We got a bunch of peaches, earmarked to become peach jam. They were 88 cents a pound at Food Basics and are large and in good condition. I bought jars at the local small hardware store. The clerk was very excited to know I wanted jars, because she’s planning to make apple butter this weekend herself. She’s just learned to can this year, and she’s already made rhubarb-lime-ginger jam. She’s very into this stuff.  She also found me a jar tongs. Yay!

Now for the surprises. First, we decided on take-out tonight, and Stuart got a pizza, on sale at Metro. Metro is a grocery story that is higher-class (price) than Food Basics. While waiting for the pizza he walked around the store, and happened to pass the baking products shelves. There were 2 bags of bread flour! He bought them. We have not seen bread flour on the shelves since March. We were so excited we almost made bread tonight.

And we stopped at the community mailbox to pick up our mail. It was not an exciting collection, but we found in it a small white package from Taipei, Taiwan. This turned out to be the yeast we ordered from Amazon in April.

Be well. Stay safe. Patience pays off.

CDR for July 16, 2020 – Thursday – I planted beans today

The weather was overcast and looked like rain was a certainty, but it didn’t rain. I planted beans and another flat of basil, since the first flat got dug up by some critter. I know the beans will take while, but with the infection rate in the US continuing to climb, we will probably be here for the harvest. There are a few more baby squashes on the vines, including one acorn squash. I won’t take photos of them when they are so young – I don’t want to jinx them. I weeded in the raised bed and checked on how various vegetables are doing. The beet roots are starting to thicken. The tomatoes are not yet ripe.

Stuart had a long Zoom call with his investment group, which ran over into the 4 o’clock hour when the Juliets meet. I jumped on the Juliet Zoom for the last few minutes. Everyone’s well. People have projects they are working on, especially gardens and grandchildren. During Stuart’s Zoom I mostly worked on face mask components – pressing and stitching tie strings, preparing some linings, and preparing some “pretty” fabric for cutting for the mask fronts. I have some good “guy” fabrics now. I am currently a little short of florals and girly prints, but I am not worried. More fabric will appear before I finish what I have.

This evening, the culinary project was to make pumpkin pudding using the sous vide method. Pumpkin pudding is pumpkin pie without the crust (so, arguably, a little healthier) that I modified slightly to have more protein. It is cooked in small canning jars. We are going to need more jars, since I use them for puddings and cheesecakes and I’ve also got the bug to can some more.

Be well. Stay safe. Keep it between the lines.