Beeping Things

image

Am I a lab-rat trained to respond to sound stimulus? Everything, beeps or buzzes these days. Clothes washers, dryers, microwaves, coffee pots, oven timers. Excuse me while I pause this thought, my laundry is beeping, I must jump up and switch loads.

Were was I?

Oh I remember, things that beep or buzz, dying batteries, car sensors and ignition, keypad strokes, incoming phone or social media messages, calendar reminders, well you get my drift.

Laundry day is the worst, it’s when the annoying sounds wear on my nerves.

Our washer and dryer know exactly when I sit down, open a page on the computer or I’m in the middle of another project, that’s when they call out. Plus, they never finish a cycle at the same time.

Yes, I do understand the notifications are meant as a convenience. We no longer have to relay on memory as to what we have going on, but is this a good thing?

Super annoying is when I’m standing in-front of the open washing machine already transferring clothes into the dryer, it still keeps beeping telling me it’s done. Does it think I’m deaf, or maybe not working fast enough?

I have found myself muttering to these appliances more than once when they’re demanding my attention, “Yes, yes I hear you, just give me a minute to finish what I’m doing.”

If they ever respond with something like, “Get your as… in here,” instead of their nagging noises, I’ll let you know. Maybe not, you’ll send a visitor to my door carrying a white jacket. 🙂 

Another pet peeve on laundry day is, how the heck do coat hangers, especially the wire ones, twist themselves into mind puzzles while hanging on the closet rod? If more than one are side by side, I can guarantee they will come out in a tangle, and usually at least one falls into the recesses of closet darkness.

Once gathered and untangled I’ll lay them on the bed so they are handy. With a shirt from the washer in one hand I’ll reach for a hanger. Now, I’m playing the “Barrel of Monkey’s” game. Lifting the lot linked together, grrrrr.

Oh, oh.

My fingers have become still, my hands now hover over the keyboard. There are furrows between my brows as my gaze lifts from the computer screen. My head turns towards the other end of the house.

I must go, an appliance is beckoning me. 🙂

Should we be worried about robots taking over the world in the future?

or

Perhaps we should be cautious of programmers and appliance designers?

A Week Pet Sitting

dobby 1

Why Are You On The iPad?

Puppy’s are made of short naps, hours of fetch and tug a-war, and the rest of the time is pet me or at least pay attention to me.

Mister and I spent last week pet sitting at our son’s house in the City, while he and his girlfriend went on vacation.

Under our care was Dobby, a nine month Doberman Pincer pup, Chewbacca and Little two felines, and a dwarf hamster.

When looking after Ruben or now Dobby our fur Grand-puppies for longer than a night, Mister and I find it easier if we’re at their homes where they have fenced yards.

In preparation I packed writing assignments, reading, two knitting projects, and had planned to catch up downloading pictures and organizing them during the sort of vacation away from our own chores.

What was I thinking?

I always expect to get more done in a week than is practical and I hadn’t considered the coming distractions.

The first full day on our own I was out of bed before Mister which is normal because that’s when I like to write.

Who would have guessed that Dobby would bark whenever I’d stop paying attention to him and look at my iPad? With Mister still asleep, I tried to keep one hand petting him while the other maneuvered the stylist on the iPad on my lap. That might have worked if not for the unexpected boops causing all kinds of chaos on screen. The puppy won my attention that morning.

By midweek, I had more of a routine. Emails got checked when Mister could play with Dobby, and there was no more barking at my iPad if I tried short sporadic spurts of morning writing.

The kid’s 3 story home also distracted me from time to time. We only used the main floor, an upstairs spare bedroom and two of the four bathrooms, but with carpet and house pets there was vacuuming, dusting, or wiping nose and paw prints, to keep up with.

A quirt of mine is I enjoy house cleaning, I’m not obsessed about it but it can sidetrack me. Give me a sink of warm soapy water and I can spend hours spot washing doors, frames, walls or non-daily areas.

Our kids have never complained that having us house sit often comes with a cleaning bonus. It’s not meant to offend, it’s just what I do when I’m bored or unsettled.

Adjusting to a different TV provider proved frustrating for Mister. Remotes, menus and channels were not what he was familiar with, so he usually gave up searching for shows. Instead, he would find a channel with reruns and we would just watch what ever came on.

There was, On-Demand, Netflix, and the kids left written instructions how to use these but we couldn’t get interested in either. It surprised us to learn how much we watch and depend on our PVR and taped favourites when at home.

Being in the city for a week came with benefits. We got in a couple visits with our nearby daughter, although unfortunately we weren’t able to catch up with the oldest one. I enjoyed a shopping day with my BFF which ended with her husband and Mister meeting us for a enjoyable supper out.

We had a shortened but nice visit with the kid’s when they got home. They had other things to do though, so we got out of their hair and returned to our cottage.

My voice will probably crack from lack of use not saying, good puppy, bad puppy, Dobby don’t chase the cats, no, leave it, go get your toy.

I should have weighed myself prior to staying there. I’m certain I lost weight, not enough but still a positive, due to trips up the stairs and having Dobby judge me if I ate snacks. Because of his watchful eye I didn’t consume a single potato chip during the week, a record for me.

Another misconception was I thought I’d have tons of opportunity and it would take little effort to get great pet pictures for this post. By the time I would grab a device and get a camera App open they would either turn away from me, move into bad lighting, have disappeared, or Dobby would boop the camera resulting in a blurred picture. If I tried to sneak into a different room for a cat’s photo session, Dobby would find us in a flash and send the cats fleeing.

This is one of the few pictures I managed to get of Chewy, the black cat, and Little, the tabby.

cats

Oh a warning, cats are traders.

We swear the cat dish always had food in it which is how they are use to being feed but they made sure to lick it clean sometime between the last nightly check and the morning when the kids got home, making it look like we neglected them. This after letting them share our bed every night, a treat they don’t get to do with the kids.

When either the son or daughter ask us to look after their animals, if we can, we are glad to do the favour, but we’ll admit we enjoy stays at their places better when they’re there and we can visit them.

What do I appreciate the most about being home?

No puppy has tried to steal my morning cookies, and I can enjoy a full cup of hot coffee without the interruptions of throwing a slobbery rubber toy.

I miss the cute faces and their happiness to see us though, but not enough to make us think of having a full time pet of our own again. Been there, done that.

One more thing, I don’t remember Mister and I wearing so many cloths while away so who does all this dirty laundry we brought home belong to.

I wrote this post with a smile and a fondness of animals.

Do you ever Pet sit?

Do you prefer doing it at your own place or go to the animals home?

Is This Lighthouse View Worth It?

72 lighthouse NB

Roadside viewpoints, even with fantastic scenery, sometimes aren’t worth the anxiety getting to them causes.

You can’t really tell from the picture how high above sea level it is.

This is a promised post about a lighthouse visit forever etched in my mind.

In our average sized unit for Alberta, a 4×4 crew-cab truck and 30ft. fifth wheel RV, we set out on a cross Canada dream trip, celebrating Mister’s retirement.

The further east we traveled signs that a smaller unit would have been more practical started to occur. Like outside, Quebec City, when we pulled into a roadside rest area for lunch and the road back onto the highway made a tight half circle that was narrow and curbed on both sides with jagged rocks. Mister knew we were too long to make the bend, but it was the only exit. He drove slowly, and we hoped for the best, which was only one trailer tire’s sidewall being ripped open and the wheel hub damaged.

Thankfully, that was the only costly incident we encountered,

BUT

his driving skills were tested multiple times, and white knuckling on my part occasionally took place.

We started asking size related questions when heading to attractions. Then, if needed we would leave the RV at a nearby campground, or a couple times Mister got permission to park the 5th wheel for a few hours at tourist information centres.

I wish we had gotten a second opinion for one nerve-rattling adventure I call, “The road to hell.” Slightly inappropriately named, because in fact the road zigzagged up a mountain, and the destination was not hellish.

Before leaving our campground near Hopewell Rocks, NB. we asked a local fellow about getting to Cape Enrage Lighthouse. If we should pull our 5th there or not? If there would be parking? He replied, “It should be fine, tour buses go up there.”

That was good enough for Mister. The next morning we headed down highway 114 which became rough enough to make us wish for air ride seats.

We took the lighthouse exit, and soon it opened into a flat stretch. The ocean glittered on one side of the road, a marsh was on the other, but a massive, tree covered mountain loomed ahead.

There was a roadside gravel area there big enough to park, probably used by fisherman to get to the ocean, but a sign indicated several Kilometers yet to the lighthouse.

A squiggly switchback warning sign and a high incline percentage one also came into view, and that’s when my anxiety began.

I told mister, “It’s fine, we don’t have to continue.”

I suggested, “Since there’s room here, let’s just turn around.”

I reasoned, “There will be other lighthouses to see along our route.”

I even tried straight out stating, “Honest, I don’t want to go up there.”

I rambled and muttered more, but those were my main arguments.

Mister simply replied, “We’ve come this far, we’re not turning back. Quit worrying! If a bus can make it, we can.”

But, worry is what I do best.

I pleaded some more, but our speed remained steady, the discussion was over.

A cliché comes to mind, “Come hell or high water,” he was taking me to see that lighthouse. (Now, isn’t he sweet, or maybe he needed revenge for some previous nagging I’d done? Smiley face)

Don’t get me wrong, Mister’s driving skills impress me. He can also maneuver a trailer pretty much anywhere, but I really never wanted to find out if controlling a rig sliding backwards on a narrow mountain road was in his repertoire.

When we slowed for the first corner, I braced my feet on the floor and one arm on the console between us. My other hand clutched the dashboard, “Oh sh…!” handle. Why, I’m not sure, we weren’t going fast or off-roading. Another smile.

With only slight exaggeration, I swear on the tight switchbacks I could have stuck my arm out the window and been able to touch the side of the 5th wheel.

Oh, have I mentioned the road was hard topped but was littered with small pebbles.

When we crept up a particular steep and sharp hairpin turn, the truck began to spit those loose pebbles. My worst fear came to life, the tires lost traction, and we were sliding backwards.

Mister, all calm and collected steered and engaged the truck’s 4 wheel drive. We started to inch forward again.

I on the other hand, broke into a sweat, muttered curses and silently prayed.

Finally we got to the top where we had to stop on the road and help guide another unit around the corner so they could head back down the hill.

The actual parking lot had a designated spot for tour buses but the public part was not big enough for larger RV’s.

Mister found a grassy plateau before the lot and wedged our rig in so we could get out to explore and take pictures of the lighthouse. The views were spectacular, but I’m not sure they were worth my stress.

70 start of road to hell Cape Enrage NB

Road Before Cape Enrage Lighthouse

 

79 road down

Coming Down Again

If I’d known this story would become a blog post, I would’ve tried taking better or at least more pictures, and maybe washed the bugs off the windshield. Who am I kidding, between hanging on and my shaking hands I’m impressed I got these few. Pictures don’t do justice to heights, inclines, etc. anyway.

The trip down wasn’t much better for me because I couldn’t stop picturing those darn loose pebbles causing us to careen off the edge.

How busses negotiate the trip, I’ll never know, maybe traffic is stopped for them. For sure, I would never want to meet and have to pass one or any other big vehicle for that matter.

If planning to visit this sight, the scenery is gorgeous once up there but be aware of the road getting there, especially, if you are pulling an RV.

Do certain road conditions cause you anxiety?

Do you like road-trips?

Flowerbeds and Spring

IMG_0259

The Goal

The snow has melted and uncovered pitiful flowerbeds. Filled with last summers dead stalks, dead annuals and fallen leaves which act as cold weather insulation for roots and bulbs. I don’t prune perennial’s in the fall, because my mother believed not doing that keeps frost from going down the steams and damaging roots. She taught me most of what I know so, of course, I honor and garden by her rules.

Here’s another tip of hers that I’m certain has no real merit, yet it makes me smile and I still follow it, “Don’t water your plants at night”. She would add, “Do you like to go to bed with wet feet?”

Last Tuesday the beautiful spring day enticed my cleanup to begin.

A lack of this type of activity during the winter decreases my stamina for being bent over picking up leaves and pruning plants so after 3 hrs my back screamed, enough for one day.

It took three heaping wheelbarrows to get 4 out of 8 flowerbeds cleaned out. One more bed than planed because why walk a half full wheelbarrow to the compost bin.

IMG_2058

2 Back Corner Beds Before Clean-up

IMG_2068

After Clean-up

I miss the days when I could complete all my yard-work in one shot. Maintenance free landscaping sounds more appealing each year. I can picture graveled beds with large placed boulders, unique driftwood and waving sea grasses, but I know I’d miss the colorful blossoms come summer.

Wednesday morning, I struggled out of bed. My back hadn’t forgiven me and using a very technical term, my bend-over-butt and leg muscles also expressed great displeasure with yesterday’s activities.

With coffee in hand I sat in my recliner regretting, again like every year, my gung-ho approach for that first-day of yard-work.

Why can’t I learn to space it out, do one flowerbed to start or at least in the weeks ahead prepare my body by stretching and maybe exercising those dormant muscles? As I blow my nose, probably from all the dust and pollen stuff I disturbed the day before, I know the answers.

  • I enjoy being active but devoting time to actually exercising has never been something I can stick with for more than a few consecutive days.
  • Weeding is a chore I dread doing. I’m not one who says, “Oh, I love to putts in flowerbeds.” For me, it can’t end fast enough. Sometimes, I wonder what I’m missing that makes me not find the so-called pleasure in gardening.

Mister’s pride shows in how he takes care of our lawns. He may grumble once in a while about how quick it grows, but that’s because he keeps fertilizing it. They are still too wet for his work to start.

The flowerbeds are mine to tend. I wouldn’t consider myself having a green thumb but plants grow and blossom. I do the necessary things, I fertilize, water, weed and prune. The problem is I’d rather do just about anything else.

If you’re a returning reader you’ve heard me mention before,

I’m a winter girl.

I have indoor plants that bloom all year and I don’t have to kill my back, sweat, get sun burned, or swat mosquitos while tending them.

Okay, I’ve whined enough.

Attitude changes everything. It’s time for me to practice what I preach. Find the positives.

I’m grateful I woke and could get out of bed, many don’t or can’t.

I’m grateful for sunny days even though the snow is gone.

I’m grateful to have a yard and yes maybe even the demanding flowerbeds.

Most of all, I’m grateful for every extra day with Mister, family and friends.

Once the season gets into full swing, every morning like other years, I’ll be checking flowerbeds anxiously watching things grow.

Do you have a least favorite outside chore?

Do you enjoy gardening and have a green-thumb?

What is Retirement?

clock

Mister and I sometimes get asked, what do you do to fill the days, do we get bored?

No, we don’t get bored often. Sure, some days are quieter than others, but than there’s days like today that seem short.

Today is flying by because, even though it was a weeknight, we were up having fun while playing cards with good friends T & E until 2:30 this morning.

It’s great having the opportunity to do this, knowing we can sleep in which I did until 9:30, and knowing it won’t interfere with projects needing doing. Unlike when working and you only have those precious 2 days, a week, off.

What doesn’t get done today can get done another day.

Hence the clock picture capturing the time it was when I finished my morning coffee, doing emails, and finally went to get dressed.

I skipped lunch because a breakfast cinnamon bun worked for both. There was barely time to vacuum and stroll the yard checking flowerbeds before my 3:00 afternoon coffee break. Smiley face.

Life can be great! Savor the downtime, tomorrow might be busier.

Just thought I’d share this short unscheduled post as I reflect on how enjoyable retirement freedom is.

Retirement is different for everybody but this is a glimpse of ours.

Here is a startling, amazing, somewhat scary, call it what you may, tidbit.

The four of us card players vary in age and without revealing the exact numbers if adding our years on this earth together they approximately total 295.

Are you retired? If not are you counting the days, months or years until it happens?

Art and a Glass House

IMG_2003

I love wall art with meaning, family or travel photos, or pictures or things you or someone you know make. Like this grouping of portraits I sketched of horses that Mister and I have owned and showed since together.

A hanging tribute that with a glance or simple passing, we can recall these treasured animals.

The poster size piece hangs on a wall at the country home where our daughter and husband live. Those fingers gripping the edge belong to her as we literally took an art walk through the house trying to find a spot to photograph it with the least glare.

A small, yet unfortunate issue for a picture lover like me, regarding the cottage where Mister and I live, is very limited wall space.

DSC02873

County regulations when we built stipulated, not more than 12 inches of wall between windows in the main living area. For us that affected one whole side and the back, and is why I sometimes refer to it as, our glass house. (Now, you may also understand why I grumble when it comes to cleaning windows and blinds.) Blinds, I could rant for a whole post about my dislike for cleaning them and the dilemma of what other, if any, window covering option we might have. But we’ll leave that triad for another time.

The few big enough drywall areas are precious space, and they showcase art with meaning.

There are two current exceptions. One picture hangs in the bathroom, a boat and shoreline scene. The other, large one is of, chairs on a dock facing a sunset. It hung on the living room wall at first but is now in the master bedroom. Both pieces fit the decor but were store-bought as inexpensive space fillers when we first used the cottage as a weekend retreat.

It’s crazy, we’ve lived here full-time for eight years now and with how important wall space is to me those insignificant two still remain, simply because I can’t decide which pictures to replace them with. I tend to over-think and over-stress about this, but…I shrug my shoulders and smile.

After writing about this though, I will move changing them up in priority on my to-do-list.

We have many special photos, so I enjoy multi frames or frames with multiple spots, probably because of my indecisiveness when choosing favorite pictures. Smiley face.

pic cluster

This is another, “to-do-project,” update this cluster which hangs on the only sizable main living space wall.

I Just had a Light Bulb Moment.

I blog because I love to write, share stories, and enjoy the interaction of comments. Learning how to entertain, enlighten, inspire or inform a reader with my posts is a learning process, and I may not always succeed,

but

writing this post inspired one person, me.

I didn’t have a big, life changing ah-hah moment, but I’m pleased none the less.

Don’t laugh at my victory, but I finally realized why choosing a picture for our bedroom wall has taken years. It’s not the spot for one photo to be enlarged and framed.

The room needs a colorful piece, something beachy and crafty, or a collection of sorts there instead. I’ll update on this when the change takes place.

So my brain storming and searching will begin. Sounds like a great reason to spend time scrolling Pinterest. Not that I normally need an excuse.

Does what hangs on your walls have meaning?

Do you like artwork if so what type?