Nudge, Nudge

Apart from the title of this post, I have nothing to say that’s even remotely related to the Monty Python sketch. But the picture amuses me, so I put it up anyway. It seems that I’ve needed more than a couple of nudges to get back into the blogging groove. More like a few sharp prods, or a good swift kick up the backside.

But, enough of all of that and on with some catching up. Well, just a wee bit, as you’ve not been missing much while I’ve been quiet. Same old same old, most days, with the exception of having a bit of work done on the house. Our exterior walls are mainly covered with siding, but there’s about four feet of stucco around the bottom, between siding and ground. The west wall, (well, actually northwest as nothing in this city sits due any direction) takes the most weather, and the stucco on that side was rather, um, weathered. We had been patching it over the years, as the previous owners had also obviously done a few times, but a big chunk of it gave way totally early this summer. So, it was time to bite the bullet and have the entire wall redone. There was the usual trepidation when we set about trying to find someone to do the job. You know how it is with tradesmen, right? There are good ones out there, but finding them can be a bit of a challenge. However, we really lucked out this time and hit the jackpot with our chosen guy. Excellent quote, which he stuck to, even though he did a lot more work than planned, and the finished job is beyond anything that we expected. I did the inspection when he finished and it was like one of those TV decorating shows unveiling moments. Not the standard “OH MY GAWD”, as that’s not one of my standard expressions . But the same sort of astonished/delighted reaction anyway.

Otherwise, I’ve just been pottering about, doing what I can, when I can. The heat and drought this summer made things mature much more quickly than usual in the garden, so it’s very much at its late summer stage now. There’s not a lot left in the veggie patch – just carrots, beets, a few onions, and the tomatoes. Stephanie’s four cherry tomato plants have yielded bushels, and the big tomatoes are coming along nicely now, too. The first to ripen were all chucked out because of blossom end rot, which is common in this variety of plant during a hot, dry year. But the rest are fine now and coming at us thick and fast. The flowers are a bit out of synch this year, too. My chrysanthemums have been in bloom for a week or two now, which is a month early for them, and even the Michaelmas daisies/hardy asters have buds on them. Normally they don’t bloom until I’m cleaning everything else out of the flower beds in autumn.

The weather finally changed over the weekend, though, thanks to a huge storm system that actually passed over us this time, rather than around us. Points west had a pretty wild time of it, but it had weakened by the time it got to us and just gave us lots of thunder and lightning and a good rain, minus the wind, hail, and such. My sister, Carol, lives about 200 kms west of here, and ended up with a large tree on her roof and a big branch through her bedroom window. Fortunately it’s a rental property so she’s not stuck with a repair bill, but obviously it was a rather scary thing for her and Miss Gillian. My mom, other two sisters, and brother all live in southeastern Saskatchewan and the storm was even worse as it passed over them. No damage to any of their homes, but lots of tree limbs down, crops and gardens flattened, and so on. A cold front moved in behind the storm and that has been utter bliss for the past couple of days. The heat is coming back tomorrow for a week or so, but then that should be it for this summer. Fingers crossed anyway. It’s probably a horrible sin to wish summer away in this part of the world, but I can’t wait for autumn. Even the heat lovers are starting to get fed up, so that’s saying something.

I really hadn’t been out for a couple of months, apart from some short walks around the neighbourhood. So, since I was feeling much more alive again over the weekend, it was decided that we should head out to a decent restaurant last evening, for the celebratory meal that we never managed during Richard’s holiday in late June/early July. We always do the posh restaurant thing once during his holidays, but never got to it as I wasn’t well enough to go. I have to say that it felt fantastic to get a bit dolled up and back out into civilization again. Oh, and the meal itself was pretty fantastic, too. Mmm, mmm, mmm. Scrummy salad to start, with the most delicious citrus peppercorn dressing on it. So delicious that I could just drink the stuff on its own. They’re the only restaurant in town that has that dressing and, even if the rest of the menu were crap, I’d go for just the salad. 🙂 Fresh from the oven bread accompanied the salad. Then it was on to the main course. A perfectly grilled chicken breast, stuffed with feta cheese, baby spinach, sundried tomatoes, and kalamato olives. Roasted baby potatoes and assorted grilled veggies filled up the rest of the plate. Stephanie also had a chicken breast, but hers was served with an apple brandy reduction and wild mushrooms. Of course Richard opted for the usual – big juicy steak and a couple of skewers of grilled shrimp. I meant to save room for dessert as this is the one place where I actually want one. They do the most sinful, decadent sundae with all sorts of gooey stuff in it, that is absolutely to die for. However, there was no way on earth that I could have managed one this time. At least not on my own. One dish with three spoons was a whole different matter, though. Add in a couple of cups of coffee and it really was bring in a crane to winch me out of my seat time. All that I can say is thank goodness I had the wisdom to put on a skirt with an expandable waistband. Ah well, it was actually good to have a major pig out, for a change. The appetite comes and goes with the energy ups and downs, and there have been a lot of days lately when the intake has been pretty low. Stephanie is in the same boat, but she managed to hoover through her meal, too, and felt much better for it. After a few hours, of course. There was much groaning from all when we first got home, and a collective sigh when we changed into loose clothing. Aaaahhhh. It made for pretty easy kitchen duties today, as we were all still feeling the effects of last evening.

There, now you’re caught up and I’ll let this do for tonight. I’ll catch up with the comments on here, and do some major blog visiting tomorrow, when I’m more awake. Daughter bought me some luscious bath bombs recently and the lavender one is calling out to me. It’s cool enough tonight to actually enjoy soaking in a warm, fragrant, skin pampering bath. Nighty night and sweet dreams.


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