Just Tuesday, That’s All

This morning as he pulled on his fishing boots, Hubby asked, “What are you writing about today, Suz?” “I don’t know yet,” I replied. “Maybe about our gardening, maybe about Mum and her progress, maybe about what I’ve been reading, maybe everything and nothing much. Maybe just that it’s Tuesday.”

Yeah. That it’s a sunny, quiet Tuesday morning. The birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming, and three baby geese just sailed by on the river flanked fore and aft by their attentive parents. It’s a good day to take a deep breath, let my shoulders relax, and just chat with you guys.

News on the homefront. We have a birdhouse for rent.
For rent.

In homefront news, Hubby and I have expanded our rental property portfolio. Ha. Our good friend and Hubby’s longtime fishing buddy dropped off a birdhouse for us. Hubby attached it to the flowering crabapple tree and we can’t quite believe that we have not had a family take possession of it yet. I particularly love the twig perch Glenn attached to the front of the house.

All those gardeners out there will be proud of me when I say that I have been gardening. Yes, I have. A week or so ago Hubby and I surveyed our flower beds and outdoor pots, made a plan, and then went shopping for annuals to plant. That was fun. Then we came home and painted all our outdoor pots red to match our Adirondack chairs.

Last year we had planned to make an excursion to a big antique place an hour or so away. One that has an enormous inventory of everything you could imagine. Indoors and out. The house has rooms and rooms filled with stuff. And outside, farm tools, garden seats, old buckets, bedsteads, whatever won’t fit into the big old brick house lines the paths to the porch and is stacked in the barns and outbuildings. It is a wonderful place to search for treasures. Seriously, if they don’t have it, it doesn’t exist. Have a look for yourself here. I was sure we could find some really odd and eclectic pots for our deck.

But spring 2020 lockdown put paid to that outing, and of course spring 2021 lockdown put paid to the same idea this year. So we changed our plans and painted the pots we had. They look pretty good too.

Purple flowers in our newly painted red pot.
Purple petunias in our newly painted pot.

Then Hubby and I waited for the weather to warm up, and last week we planted all the annuals in our flower bed at the front, and in the pots. I’ll show you the flower bed one day when it fills in a bit. Right now the daffodils and tulips are on their last legs, and the later blooming perennials are only beginning to grow. Our big front bed is the only one that has annuals. We’ve managed to make the others all perennials. Lilies, hosta, hydrangeas, primroses… all the usual stuff.

Afterwards we moved to the veggie patch (or patches, I should say) to plant the tomatoes and peppers, and pull the remaining carrots that Hubby had over-wintered. Our vegetable garden is Hubby’s true passion. Flowers are just an afterthought for him. Veggies are what he likes to grow.

I always laugh when I see what he uses to mark the rows, or to tie up some of the plants. Hockey sticks and more hockey sticks. Every hockey stick he’s ever broken and had to replace has had the blade sawed off, and has been consigned to our scrap woodpile. To be put to good use at a later date. There are even a few ski poles in the mix. You can tell that a sportsman owns this garden, my friends. And the other day when we uncovered some of the beds which had been covered due to frost risk, I saw that he’s using a new method to mark exactly where he planted his cucumbers. One could be forgiven for thinking that we had a good crop of hockey sticks and golf balls growing in our veggie patch. Ha.

The news on the other homefront, that is the down east homefront, is good as well. Mum while still in hospital is on the cusp of being discharged. But I tell you it was a rollercoaster ride last week. First we found out on Thursday that there had been a Covid “outbreak” at the hospital in Fredericton. The acute care hospital, the rehab centre, and the veteran’s hospital were all locked down, like Fort Knox a friend from home told me. A “healthcare worker” who saw patients in all three facilities had tested positive for Covid.

So Mum was moved into an isolation room, and we couldn’t get in touch for a few days because her phone had not been switched to the new room. My niece was told Mum had been moved for her own protection. Okay. That was good. At least she had not been exposed.

Then the next morning I was told by her nurse that Mum had been exposed, and was in isolation until she could be tested, and would probably be there for two weeks. Okay… not so good. Not good at all for a 93 year-old who had been vaccinated less than two weeks before. In between bouts of writing my blog post on cheugyness, I sweated and fumed and cursed, and cried a little. I’m laughing as I write this because while I sweated and fumed and stressed, I talked on the phone to both sisters and one niece. Thank god for ear buds.

As I talked to my niece, I paced around the deck and the front yard, watered all the new plants, and the old ones too. Then started pulling weeds. “You’ll never guess what I’m doing,” I said to Tammy. “I’m weeding!” “No!” she replied, “I hate weeding.” “Me too,” I laughed. When I’d finished weeding I went back to my computer. I’m amazed that I wrote that blog post and didn’t find any glaring errors or inadvertent swear words when I edited it. Ha.

Anyway. Tammy talked to the nurse again that evening and she apologized because she had given me wrong information. After my call that morning, she had called her nurse manager who was off for the weekend and clarified everything. Mum had not been exposed. She was indeed in an isolation room for her own protection. The nurse who had been called back from her holidays early due to staff shortages at the hospital, had arrived on Saturday morning shortly before my phone call to a chaotic situation. My niece says she was beside herself that she had misinformed me. Poor woman. She had sounded really lovely on the phone.

So, no harm done. Mum was fine. I finally spoke to her on Sunday. She was perky, but bored because she had run out of books. We are hopeful, as of my conversation with the nurse manager today, that Mum will go home by the end of the week. Yah.

And Hubby is pleased that we now have a weed-free flower garden. Silver lining, folks.

Paddling on the Rideau River.
The fisherman returns.

In other news, I am reading two books this week. Last week I was immersed in Jane Austen. I read, and alternately listened to, both Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. I particularly enjoyed Sense and Sensibility since I know it less well. I’d forgotten all about the scene where Willoughby arrives at Cleveland when Marianne is ill. And when reading the part where Edward arrives at Barton cottage to propose to Elinor, I thought how spot on Emma Thompson captured that moment in her screenplay for the movie, even though she tinkered with the exact plot events.

This week I am taking your advice and reading The Other Bennet Sister by Janice Hadlow. I’m only a couple of chapters in and am already enjoying it. It’s hard to write one of these follow-up books and do it well. So hard to get everything right, to use the original details and enlarge on a heretofore unexplored area, and still pay homage to the original writer. I saw on our library website that a writer had published a whole series of Jane Austen spin-off mysteries. I sampled one. Oh my… it was bad, really bad. The style and language usage put me off after two paragraphs. So over-written. I mean, I’m pretty sure that “forsooth” had fallen out of usage by the nineteenth century.

But in The Other Bennet Sister, Janice Hadlow seems to have hit the style and language, not to mention the character attributes, just right. I’m excited to read what she has in store for Mary Bennet.

I’m also reading Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale by Adam Minter and loving it. I first told you about this book here. Usually I am not one for non-fiction, unless it is very engaging and the subject interests me already, which is the case here. I love Minter’s anecdotes and reading about the people he meets who are involved in this industry.

Hubby fishing on the river this morning. Homefront news... the fish were not biting.
Close enough to have a conversation, now.

Well, that’s the homefront news this sunny Tuesday, my friends. Hubby and I have been indulging in fresh, wild asparagus this week. Yum. Last night we tried grilled pork tenderloin stuffed with asparagus and a few other goodies. It was delicious. One of these days I’ll write a food post. All about what Hubby has been up to in the kitchen.

Tonight we are NOT having fresh fish for dinner. For although the river was calm and peaceful this morning, the birds twittered and the geese sailed majestically downstream, the fish were not biting. Still. Hubby was not too disappointed when he returned. I mean how lovely to be able to push one’s canoe into the water off one’s front lawn, clamber in, and go for a paddle, eh? Not much to complain about there.

So, how’s your Tuesday been?

P.S. There are a couple of book affiliate links in this post. If you make a purchase after clicking my link, I will make a commission.


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41 thoughts on “Just Tuesday, That’s All”

  1. I am reading both Longbourn and Secondhand on your recommendation. I am enjoying both. I was able to borrow them as ebooks from our public library, and the ability to highlight an unknown word and see the definition is a plus with Longbourn! I’m pretty sure I would not have been a member of society had I lived in that age, and am grateful I live in an era of washing machines, dryers, etc. Secondhand is certainly eye opening and your approach to slow fashion is what attracted me to your blog. I am tired of influencers who daily push new clothes that are “must haves” or “wardrobe essentials”. My list of must haves are books you have suggested.

    1. Thanks, Kate. I am happy you are enjoying Longbourn and Secondhand. I enjoyed one SO much and am currently enjoying the other. 🙂

  2. So glad to hear that your mother is doing okay. Would she use a Kindle? They’re lightweight, the page looks more like it’s printed than as though it’s on a computer (no blue light), and best of all you could add books to it any time – literally, so she would never run out of reading material.

  3. Na….still very much used by my family…”gad zooks yea and forsooth” LOL Works well when swearing would be frowned upon.
    That Antiques place looks fabulous….I could spend a few hours there just looking. 🙂

  4. I’m so glad you had a good outcome to your mom’s situation — a reward for all that virtuous weeding you did perhaps 😉
    My Tuesday included washing the floors (with a cloth, on hands and knees, not trusting a mop to do the job right). A task I usually manage to delegate, but ’twas my turn. And I played around with my new laptop and new Blog. . . some learning curves to climb. Then read a blogpost I enjoyed just before heading to bed with my book 😉

  5. Nice to see you enjoying the therapeutic value of weeding at last . It’s very useful for dissipating anger , worry & frustration . So difficult for you communicating at a distance . I feel sorry for the nurse who got in a muddle too . I wouldn’t want to be a nurse just now . You & your family are intelligent, sensible people but they have to deal with lots who aren’t . I know as we have health workers in the family & they are flagging with the pressure . Soon your mum will be back where she belongs ‘ bending your ear ‘ down the phone .
    I’m reading Nomadland just now & it’s about as far removed from Jane Austen as you can get . I have a confession to make . You might have noticed I don’t join in your discussions about Jane . I’m not a fan . I love history & learning about the way people lived in the past & I also enjoy some historical fiction but Jane’s world is as far removed from my ancestors world as science fiction . Would she have been aware of the inequalities & iniquities of the time I wonder . Children up chimneys & down coal mines . Lords & ladies turfing out their tenants . Did this impinge on her world ? Have I put the cat amongst the pigeons ? 😀 Feel free to put me right as I don’t know that much about her .
    My Tuesday was spent walking around the lovely Scottish city of Inverness surrounded by mountains . It sits on a wide fast running river joining Loch Ness to the sea & there are a number of quite large thickly wooded islands in the river joined by little Victorian wrought iron bridges . All very picturesque & we met lots of friendly locals walking their friendly dogs .

    1. Oh Wendy, you took me right back there in a second. I loved walking around Inverness and the area around there and the Loch area. Even tripped and fell into Loch Ness which is a running joke. No I did not see Nessie. Thanks for that and do enjoy your time there.

    2. I remember a few years ago when my friend Barb and I were discussing the book Longbourn and Pride and Prejudice. We sighed about living back then but both laughed because we knew we’d either be in the cowsheds or down the coal mine… and not in the drawing rooms. Longbourn gives a very different view of the era. Your Tuesday walk sounds wonderful. Scotland.. sigh… I’d love to be there.

  6. What a relief to you that your mom is okay. I’m reading a book called the Thursday Murder Club. Since COVID my reading tastes has changed and leaned towards lighter fare. I’ve enjoyed the relationships between the characters in this book and figuring out the murders. My mind is still trying to process what cheugy is. So far I have two of the many symptoms: a side part and a penchant for basics (anything to eliminate mind cutter).

    1. Robyn,

      I loved The Thursday Murder Club! Even though it was lighthearted, I thought it had substance. An excellent mystery and a wonderful portrayal of life in later years. Apparently there will be at least two more.

  7. The fact that you can launch your canoe from your lawn has me green. Also the fact that your hubby heads out for some time alone. I am so glad to hear the news of your mom. That rollercoaster of a day must have had you so frustrated but to finally have a good outcome, a relief. Coming home will be a bit of a change without all the people around, but to have her house back will be so comforting. I have been spending so much time outdoors in this good weather that the book reading has suffered a bit, but I plan to spend some quality deck time in the evening with a book soon. Of course the weeding is an ongoing battle so that is tucked into the mornings with the birds singing.


    1. I’ve seen that adorable puppy on IG. Getting to know your cat. Ha. No roses for me. I’d just kill them. I am NOT a gardener.

  9. Sue, a great post, thank you. V jealous of your waterside life and access to wild asparagus.
    Have you tried “Lost I’m Austen”? It was a TV serial in the UK some years ago when I found it great fun. (But would I now?!)

  10. As soon as you described it I KNEW that you were talking about Rideau Antiques! I have been there many times over the years and have found a few treasures! How they keep track of inventory is beyond me. Once, while I was rifling through a dresser drawer in an upstairs bed room, one of the many old fur neckpieces consigned there came to life and let out an irritated MEOW! Scared the daylights out of my sister in law and me! It’s a pretty drive from O-town and quite an experience.
    Glad to here your Mom is about to be ‘sprung’! We are monitoring the two Dads one in NB the other in Oakville. One 95 the other 87. The one in retirement living (95) in ON is fairing well though getting bored of books and TV mourning that there are three great grandchildren that he has yet to see IRL. He’s fully vaccinated. The 87 in NB lives alone, few visitors but his daily caregiver ( who doesn’t believe in vaccination but has since changed her mind…) he is frustrated and lonely. Haven’t seen him since 2019 but chat regularly. Challenging times for the elderly.

    1. Ha. One might find anything at Rideau Antiques. One day in an upstairs room we spied a hat lying in a china basin, amongst a room full of other bowls and basins and pitchers. Hubby postulated that maybe some old lady keeled over, her hat fell off, and when they say it they just popped a price tag on it. This past year has been extremely challenging for the elderly. And it’s hard to NOT be able to help.

  11. You could have used a variation of an old movie title for your post–“If this is Tuesday, it must be Ottawa!” You in the role of Suzanne Pleshette. 🙂

    Good news that your mom is about to be released. Sorry you all had those harrowing days of thinking she was exposed. Frustrating and scary. Feeling helpless is not fun, but you put your angst to good use on the gardening front.

  12. It’s always nice to read your posts. I enjoyed the “cheugy” post, although it was a tiny bit depressing to think of those young fashionistas judging my long skirts with tennis shoes.
    Today’s post made me laugh — I was merely looking for a rare restful day today when I emailed to say that I would not attend the meeting today. The reply was, “That meeting is NEXT week!”
    So I am getting my day off, something even retired people need now and then. I’ve walked along the bayou under the Spanish moss-covered trees with my dog and gotten several tiny but irritating chores done. Now it’s almost lunchtime and after I eat a ginormous salad I’m going to take a brief but intense nap!
    So glad your mother is getting better.

  13. Sounds like a real time of ups and downs, hopefully resolving itself. I note that you painted your pots as did Mr Pooter in the inimitable Diary of a Nobody, which I am re-reading for the nth time. Hope you don’t decide to do the bath, as he did.

  14. I must say that I’m terribly envious of your ability to launch a canoe from your own yard, but we did get the kayak out to a lake close to home for our first paddle of the season on the weekend and we also did some hiking earlier this week. Now winter seems to have returned to the prairie and the temperature is barely above 0! We didn’t get the snow that many places not far from here got though, so I guess I should be thankful for that. I’ll be waiting a little longer to put my bedding plants out though.

    Glad to hear that your Mum is okay and hope she’s back in her own home soon.

    1. Gosh, I’ve been hearing about your terrible weather. Hang in there, Elaine. But don’t put the ski underwear away just yet. 🙂

  15. Love your Tuesday post. Guess what we got today…SUN! So I have weeded and weeded and weeded….officially exhausted. So glad your Mother is doing better. Had to take my almost 90 year old Mother to the doctor in the rain yesterday. Not fun with canes and constantly reminding her to keep her mask on, she pulls it down every time she speaks! But we’ve all had our second vaccine, so things are looking up. Enjoy those flowers, reading outside in the red chairs with the red flower pots sounds fabulous.

    1. Yah, so glad you finally have sun, Heather. When Mum and I did our “travelling” with walkers and canes and climbing in and out of the low car we both had to maintain a very good sense of humour!

  16. Sportsman gardener must be a subgroup of the well known gentleman farmer classification. I especially love the golf ball markers 😂
    Such great news about your mum. I hope she’s home by the time you read this.
    I agree with you about the excellence of Emma Thompson’s screenplay for Sense and Sensibility. It’s one of my favourite Austen films. Thank you for recommending Jane Hadlow’s book, which is now on my reading list. I too am a most reluctant weeder 😉

  17. So many news!
    All good that ends well, luckily!
    Your garden is unique-it must be fun weeding between hockey sticks and tennis balls! Almost Olympic Games Garden!
    Love red pots,they look wonderful. The bird house is so lovely and thoughtfully made with a twig
    Enjoy beautiful spring days! We have rain almost every day and have still central heating on ,at least in the morning and evening. There is no bad weather,only bad clothingI know ,but I’ve lost inspiration waiting for some stability-one day is 12 °C,another one 22°C……so,it is kind of uniform basic plus 2 or 3 different jackets in the car-you never know how the day will end

    1. Hockey sticks are definitely Stu’s territory… on the ice and in the garden. Ha. I am, I admit, a reluctant gardener. Hope your own spring weather improves. Ours has jumped from threats of frost to mid-summer.

  18. Love this Tuesday post and apologies for a rather late, Saturday comment!
    So very pleased all is well with your mum although I can understand all the frustrations along the way and her obvious keenness to be home! … and yours, to be with her.
    I’m glad that in general the nursing staff and management have communicated well with you though.
    Such practical ideas by Stu to use his old sporting equipment in the garden… adds a little personal style too, I think! 😊
    My Tuesday was spent feeling more and more excited as I looked forward to finally meeting my two closest friends for a stroll , drinks by the river, then another stroll to our restaurant, again on the river! Literally a “jump up and down” with excitement occasion! The restaurant tables were very well spaced and with screens in between and the staff all wore masks which is all definitely feeling normal now, so didn’t spoil the ambiance.
    The fact that all this was in strolling distance of home, never fails to make me happy!
    Have a good weekend Sue! The weather here remains windy and wet, day after day. Hope it’s better with you.
    Rosie xxx

    1. Thanks, Rosie. Mum is home as of yesterday. Big adjustment for her after two months in hospital. Lots of things she has not been doing for herself for a while. Bit overwhelming for her at the moment, but hopefully everything will slide into place. How wonderful to be able to stroll to a restaurant with friends.. and such a beautiful stroll at that.

      1. So pleased to know that your mum’s finally home. Wonderful! I imagine it’s been a long two months for you both … and your family.
        I hope she has some attentive and kind carers assisting her.
        Will she be able to have physio at home if she needs it?
        Hopefully it won’t be too long before you’re able to visit 🤞
        Rosie xxx

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