Sunday, 5 July 2020

Art Room Overhaul

I had some new windows installed this week, and so that the window chaps had room to work, some furniture had to be moved.
Arrrgh look at the dirt that was revealed! So of course when the workmen had finished, a form of frantic spring cleaning began. 
The worst was my Art Room. And I have so much Art Stuff scattered about, so it was time for a general tidying up.  And this is just a small portion of the Art Stuff. There's more on the floor in the next room.

I rearranged the table and the computer desk, sorted the Art Stuff into bins, all used paper to the recycling box, pens in one container, pencils in another. Paint brushes stowed away where I can find them. Records of sold paintings all filed in a binder. Artist quality acrylic paint in one bin, cheap Walmart grade paint in another. A lino cut bin. A gelli print bin. A watercolour paint and paper bin. And another bin for sketch books.
It looks great! I am so pleased with myself!

Saturday, 4 July 2020

Mason Bee? Mason Wasp?

Last summer I noticed a small hole (about 1/8" or 4mm diameter) in a brick, and an insect going in and out. Then a couple of days later the hole was sealed with mud. I was curious and I poked the mud out with a paper clip, so I don't really know what was inside.

This year, the same thing happened. The tiny hole in the brick is still there. I was sitting on the deck with my morning coffee, and out of the corner of my eye noticed a small insect going inside. Then a few minutes later, emerging, but too fast for me to notice what kind of insect.
The next day, the hole was sealed with a chewed up leaf.
An internet search suggested it's a mason bee or a mason wasp. The female lays her egg in the cavity and provides the baby with a yummy caterpillar or spider for breakfast after hatching.
I'll keep an eye on this brick to see what happens.

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Canada Day 2020

July 1 - Canada Day!
But this year will be a very different celebration.
The annual outdoor concert featuring Canadian talent on Parliament Hill in Ottawa isn't going to happen. I think there are all sorts of virtual happenings planned via the internet but I probably won't tune into it.
Our small town celebrates Canada's birthday with an annual 4 day Strawberry Festival.... yes, it's cancelled for 2020.
The only fireworks lighting up the sky will be in people's back yards. No big displays are planned due to the Covid-19 physical distancing rules keeping people apart.
I'll be celebrating at home, but I'll wear my Canada T-shirt and sing O Canada to wish my adopted country a Very Happy 153rd Birthday!

Virtual Canada Day | Wed, Jul 1, 2020, 10:00 am @ Online ...

And I hope Canada Day 2021 is an improvement over 2020.  Stay safe and stay healthy and enjoy the day!

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Scrub Caps

I'm proud to say that I have been a part of a team of busy people who have cut, pressed, sewn, and delivered more than 600 scrub caps to local hospitals over the past 3 months.  A great way to keep busy and be useful during the pandemic lockdown days. Well done everyone!

Some bloggers couldn't see the photo.... I hope I've fixed it now.

Saturday, 6 June 2020

Buzz ... click ... beep ...

It has been a very interesting week.
Last weekend I packed up a few groceries and my suitcase, put gas in the car for the first time since March (it only cost me just over $20!), loaded up some rollerblades and hockey sticks I had acquired for the kids, and headed off to visit YoungerSon and family for a couple of days. We last got together in February, pre-Corona.
YoungerSon has an in-law apartment where I stayed, so we were still able to practice the recommended social distancing..

It was lovely to see the grandchildren, and meet their new chickens (no eggs yet!) But I felt rotten all weekend, and by the time I arrived home on Monday, I really felt ill with fever, chills, trouble catching my breath, nasty cough, lost my appetite completely.

You know what we were all thinking!
So I drove to the local Covid-19 Assessment Clinic at Markham Stouffville Hospital.

After waiting in line for 30 minutes in the hot sun, I told the nurse how I was feeling and she took one look at me and told me to go to Emergency next door, RIGHT NOW!. An orderly in full PPE on a golf cart came to get me and whisked me round the corner to Emergency.

It didn't take long for medical staff in full PPE to get me on a gurney in an examination room, wire me up to an EEG machine, then take BP readings, temperature, oxygen readings, blood samples, urine samples, install IV drip. My heart was out of rhythm yet again. A doctor came by and gave me a Covid test.... not a pleasant experience. They even put the pads on me as they were planning another cardioversion.... I've had so many to get my heart back in rhythm I'm used to them by now, but it turned out to be unnecessary.

Then I was told there was a bed for me upstairs on the ward.... what? I only came here for a Covid test! I was planning to go home and unpack after the weekend! I don't want to stay.... but I had to.

By Wednesday they had my Covid test results.... negative, but could possibly be a false negative as I was still displaying many symptoms, high fever, chills, cough, lack of appetite. So I was given a second Covid test. (They don't get any more pleasant the second time) Two negatives are required in my case.

I was placed in a large two bed hospital room but one bed had been removed. All equipment that was not in use was covered in plastic. A large sign on my door warned every hospital worker, nurse, or doctor who entered my room was required to wear full PPE, and dress in extra plastic covering from head to foot as they entered the room. The extra covering was discarded as soon as they left the room and was not used again, even if they had only been in the room for 5 minutes.
A few moments of panic when my cell phone ran dry because I didn't have the charging cable with me... well, I was only planning to be out for an hour, not a whole week! So OlderSon went to my house and picked it up along with other necessities as toothbrush, toothpaste, book to read and 3 pairs of clean underwear!!!!! Had to drop it off in a sealed plastic bag at the front desk.... no visitors allowed.

By Thursday I was much recovered but they were still testing and it wasn't until Friday that I was finally declared Covid-19 free. Phew, sigh of relief.... and for my YoungerSon's family too!
I was worried about my car being towed away but it was OK< no panic. I was able to buy a 5 day parking pass that covered the car as it had been sitting in the Covid test parking lot since Monday.

Those medical hospital staff deserve all the praise and thanks we can give them. They are doing their jobs in extremely difficult and dangerous conditions, and they are all dressed up like spacemen. Everyone was kind and patient with me, especially when I couldn't hear their instructions clearly though their many masks. They were so very helpful.
And one more note about the Hospital food..... even though I wasn't in the mood to eat for the first couple of days, the food was very good, very tasty, and no complaints from me!

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Yellow Wood Sorrel

A pretty little plant has established itself in the gravel next to the AC unit.  The tiny yellow flowers love the sunshine but put themselves to bed if it's rainy, or at night. The leaves are shaped like shamrocks.  What could it be?
I consulted Professor Google and found that this is Yellow Wood Sorrel, oxalis stricta, a plant native to North America, and guess what.... it is edible!  Of course, I had to try it and chomped on some leaves, and it has a sour lemony flavour caused by the presence of oxalic acid.  It is sometimes called "sourgrass".  Both leaves, flowers and seedpods are edible.  A sprig or two of this plant can be used as a tasty addition to a salad, and the leaves can be used to make a flavoured drink that is similar in taste to lemonade.  Both the leaves and the flowers close up at night and open again in the morning.

Additional important note: It's grandson Isaac's birthday today... he is 11! Have a Happy Day, Isaac!

Saturday, 23 May 2020


A friend with a large rhubarb patch called me and said "It's ready! Come and get some!"
So I did.
Rhubarb is classified as a vegetable, but is generally used as a fruit in desserts and jams.  It's strange that the stalks can be eaten, but the roots and leaves are poisonous and contain oxalic acid.
When I was a child, there was nothing better than to sit on the ground next to the rhubarb with a bowl of sugar and dip the young rhubarb stalks and eat them raw. Sour but yummy!
So this is what I did with the rhubarb.....
Rhubarb crumble. I had some for dessert. Good with a scoop of icecream, but even better with lashings of custard!