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.
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.
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.
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.
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.