A restful and busy Sunday

A Deerfield tree done in « Waterlogue »

We were supposed to have a warm weekend. For the most part we did, although Saturday was cool and the sun didn’t poke an eye out at us. We finally noticed that it was attempting to later in the day, but it could not get through the thick skies that prevented its rays from penetrating. Somehow we didn’t hear of pollution and I thought the fires out west were put out.

It seemed as though it was going to rain and this aspect of the weather continued on into Sunday. Sunday, however, was humid and warm.

I did a few things here and there although overall, my idea was to use Sunday as a day of rest. I started out by getting up later than normal, 8:00 AM. I took Stewie for a walk, made coffee, did some Hungarian (Pimsleur during the walk, Duolingo afterward), and then read the New York Times.

Just another day, Day 197, Week 29 as I write this for the post on day 198, Monday.

I did a few things here and there as I continued to prepare our outdoor room and the yard for winter. I trimmed some errant bush growth in the back. The hedges had been trimmed but about twenty sprigs of bush pushed up and looked unkempt. Off they came.

I did some work with the new hoses and put away the hose containers as I will no longer need them. I then went to the woodpile and grabbed a bunch of wood and split the wood to make it easier to start fires and to also use in the fire pit we have now that it might be used in the colder weather.

At four, we went to Wauconda to have a drink and dinner with a good friend and her husband at the lake where they have some kayaks and a boat.

It was a lovely day. In the 70s in the day and then in the late afternoon it was in the low 60s. Typical Chicago weather.

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Cicadas, crickets, on a cool, windy day that was supposed to be hot

The dining room looks odd with the temporary table as the oak table and chairs are being refinished. The Tolix French chairs help dress up the table a bit as does the French teflon coated tablecloth.

I am writing this post on day 196 of Confinement and MK and I finally stepped into a grocery store. Of course, it is our grocery store of choice, my happy grocery store, Heinen’s. It was the first time since March. We decided on an outing as we had stuff to deliver to our oldest son’s family, things that were left behind after their four and a half month penance of having to live with good old mom and dad. We dropped that off and then went to the grocery store. I had a thirty dollar gift certificate for a delivery from Heinen’s gone bad, we opened up the vacuum packing and almost keeled over. That was a roast that was not to be. We don’t know what happened but Heinen’s took care of it with no problems whatsoever.

I had spent the day that was supposed to be hot and was not, taking care of the rain barrels, turning them over and getting them ready for the winter and also pulling the hoses and storing them (and throwing one out) while replacing them with my newly purchased non-kinking hoses.

The main reason for the foray was to get mums for the yard and we bought four for $20 at Heinen’s and then came home and I took a very large pot that was empty and filled it with three of them. The other mum went into the ground. We now have mums in front of the house. We actually have some mums growing in the ground that are pretty much at the same stage of non-blooming as the ones we bought.

Oh, and if you are from the United Kingdom, no, I did not plant my mother and her clones. Bad teacher joke, sorry for that.

I noticed the cicadas did a short song before the crickets set in. The wind was omnipresent and it seemed all day as if it was going to rain. It did not. The sky was looking polluted and the sun could not even break through whatever the atmosphere seemed to hold.

Mary Kay, Stewart, and I took a walk around the block and well, we called it a day. Lots of things accomplished and we are one step closer to shutting down the outdoor room for the upcoming winter.

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Mugs and dishes left from the homemade angel food cake and strawberries we had for dessert.

The image I used today in ESL Conversation Hour.

It has been a long day, a profitable day. It has cheerfully not brought any sudden surprises. Of late, surprises have appeared and frankly, they have not always been that welcome.

I did my 10:00 AM Zoom and had a really good session. I always start by warming up and speaking to each individual attendee. Then we take a look at an image from www.bbclearningenglish.com. Today, we looked at expressions to use when we cannot remember. I have them read them out for me as I share my screen and they always have a question or two to ask. I write notes on a ‘Pages’ Document and then after the session I e-mail them the notes, converting the Pages’ document to Word as I do so.

After we go over the BBC Learning Moment, I put them in ‘Breakout Rooms’ and give them a question that either I produce or ask one of them for…it works very well. I ask one person in each group to keep track of the conversation and report back at the end of the session.

After that, I did some Hungarian and then after lunch, I attacked the pond.

I unplugged the filter and pump, leaving the aerators that I put in this year still running. I am going to see how that works once winter sets in. I found the two pond warmers that I put in, one to keep a hole in the ice, allowing the somewhat dormant fish to live, the other to serve as a back up in case of failure. I pulled out the filter material and totally cleaned the filter, putting the insides in the sun to dry. I pulled out the pump and cleaned it and put it in the sun as well. I am holding off on the net as the pond is totally covered by water lettuce, water lilies, and water hyacinth.
I am hoping that those will catch the tiny locust leaves that fall and then I can compost them all. Then I shall put a rope above the pond and put a huge net over it to keep the bigger leaves out.

I ended up straightening up the garage as I tried to organize my things. I now have two sons storing things there which only adds to the confusion. I am hoping that maybe when it is not seriously cold that we might be able to social distance a bit in there if we have a heater.

Anyway, I finished up, Mary Kay and I walked the dog, I started a fire in the Weber Grill with charcoal, and we made a delicious dinner.

Now it is cricket time on the patio. The annual cicadas are silent but the crickets are not.

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A little housecleaning, a little bulb planting…

Patio days are numbered.

It is day 195 of Confinement and as I write this post on day 194 of Confinement on the patio, I was surprised to hear the pitter patter of rain on the patio umbrellas, a pure surprise given that the sky didn’t look as if it were going to rain. It was a beautiful day filled to the brim as I did some house cleaning, tried to figure out my rowing machine issues, and planted about sixty bulbs.

The rowing machine is the machine I retrieved from my daughter-in-law. I quit my gym as I am not ready to go back into the public like that at this time. I did a little research and found out that Concept2 realized that there is a defect in the connection of the flywheel to the monorail. I contacted them and they sent me the repair kit to make it stronger. In doing so, something happened and the reconnection is not working properly.

The bulbs were long overdue. For the past few years I have been planting some each fall. This year, I decided to do some hyacinths and tulips, and daffodils, a change from the usual daffodil planting of the past few years. It is always exciting in the spring when we see different flowers poking out of the ground.

Today and the past few days were very warm. At night, however, it was very cool. Last night was not. It is a hint of what is to come as winter is arriving and winter plus Pandemic is not going to be a good combo.

It is clear that so many young people are having great difficulty with the idea of social distancing. Every so often you see throngs of them as they work at being young and
are just not able to steer clear of each other.

Mary Kay was concerned about the rain as her hairdresser was coming over to cut her hair on the patio. Luckily, the rain stopped.

The cicadas are still doing their thing and the days in the yard are coming to a close. The hummingbirds are constantly visiting as they are stoking up for their trip south. It is hard to believe that these tiny things can actually manage to fly all the way to the warm areas of the southern United States and Mexico.

It is 7:39 on Thursday evening and it is about as dark as it is going to be. It is sad how short the days have become. Nonetheless, we are outside after a dinner from a local Chinese restaurant (delivery).

Carpe diem.

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Keeping busy…

Wednesday evening’s ‘Waterlogue’ view of the backyard as I wrote this post.

I remember thinking this morning about moving the grandkids’ big riding toys into the Rubbermaid container behind the garage. The two older grandkids pretty much no longer use them and the Pandemic and other things have kept the smaller ones from visiting. The riding toys are just impossible in the garage and make it difficult to find room for anything.

For some reason, I was logical and decided that after my 10:00 AM morning Zoom that I would do the move. I managed to pull it almost completely off by Zoom time, though. I emptied the gardening supplies from the Rubbermaid and proceeded to fill it up.

It ended up being a strangely, busy day. I did my ‘bookkeeping’ as I call it, after my Zoom. I send in the attendance and then take my typed notes and e-mail them to all the attendees. By this time, MK had a visitor and I sat down with them.

To be honest, I was all over the place doing things. I drained a rain barrel into the pond, watered plants in need as things are pretty dry, and later in the day I attended to the needs of the dry sod up front by the new sidewalks. It appears that I am one of the few watering the sod, but I don’t want my lawn to look any worse than it does. I have allowed it to go into a mode of hibernation.

In the morning, I attended to my Concept2 Rowing machine as it had an issue that the Concept2 people sent out a repair for. I did the repair and now I cannot get the flywheel to attach to the ‘monorail.’ I am in contact with them on that.

I did all sorts of things outside despite the feeling that I needed a nap. After lunch, I pulled out the Tung Oil and put a second coat on the re-installed mini-greenhouse surrounding our raised bed spice square. I had put on a coat yesterday. It looks great and should better survive the winter. I also got it into my head that the two nice, wooden folding tables (about 20’’ x 20’’) on the patio needed a coat as well and I must admit that it made a huge difference. Tung Oil is a great varnish wannabe that is easy to use and pretty natural. It was suggested for my wood frame mini-greenhouse.

I took Stewie on a walk, did my Hungarian lessons, spiffed up the house as I vacuumed away all of the locust leaves that plague us at this time of the year. I then took out the blower and blew off the locust leaves on the patio.

We warmed up some leftovers and had a great dinner on the patio.

It is almost 8:00 PM and we are sitting on the patio enjoying the weather.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg is gone. Breonna Taylor’s life was taken and the guilty parties are off the hook. No racism in the United States? Oh my…

Tomorrow I need to split some kindling wood. Actually, that is no joke.
Maybe it will help me deal with my anger.

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