Saturday, September 17, 2016

Tomatoes on everything.

This is not a bad thing,  but we're ever so slightly being over-run with tomatoes.  There's toasted tomato sandwiches (or,  for a "fuller menu",  add bacon!)  tomato chutney (or whatever the heck that was that T.C. made the other day,  and of course,  we're bagging them up and giving them away to any takers.   Once in a while,  I'll just be passing through the kitchen and pop one in my mouth.  *drool*

Such a problem!

I guess I could say it's been a bit of a busy summer.  They always are.  Mind you,  there haven't been any days when I've been pining to go back to work or anything.  I mean,  are you kidding?

I had counted on trying to finish up at least one outdoor project today,  but we're getting a wee bit of rain it seems.  No complaints.  We can certainly use the rain.  I get tired of trying to water the plants,  and then eventually had to start watering the lawn.  It's recovering,  but there's still a few dead spots.

One of the little projects is a pergola that I'm building at my sister-in-law's place.
For many years now her grape vines have been leaning farther and farther over,  and we decided to do something about it.

It was a little bit more involved than she initially figured I'm sure,  but had I been entirely candid about the lengths to which I was willing to go to make something,  she probably would have told me to not bother.
My benchmark is,  "it shouldn't look like it was constructed by monkeys".   That's the standard.  Typically,  I can manage that.

I still have to put in pieces along the side adjacent to the grape vines in order to train them over onto it,  as well as a cross member for bracing on the near side.  I have those pieces at the ready,  but they're out there in the rain.  And I'd rather not be.

Some of the material I already had,  which was left over from the project we did at the front of The Ponderosa.  Minus the profiles,  of course.
I had three 16 foot two by eight lengths of cedar wrapped up under a tarp,  so I did have to go out and pick up a fourth piece.

Now,  I said "I",  but really,   my nephew has been a huge help.  First of all,  he has the pick-up truck I sold to him back when we moved to Europe.  That's always handy.  He was right there when it was time to put all the pieces together plus,  he and his son dug the post holes for the posts.  That's just nasty work.   I "helped".   But they did all of the heavy lifting.   And that's not just a figure of speech either.   I was going to hire someone with some sort of post hole digging gizmo,  but he insisted that they could do it.  OK then.

Anyway,  these are some of the things that tend to occupy my time.   
Not that that's any excuse for not blogging.  I'm just mostly apathetic in that regard.  

Oh,  I did go to my first ever NFL game a couple days ago.   Jets at Buffalo.   Did the whole "tail gating" thing.  Had a good time.   Probably could have done with some earplugs.   My memory is a bit dim,  but I don't recall ever being at a rock concert that was that loud.   Holy moly!

This pretty much sums up the extent of the activities leading up to the game.   I stole this one from my buddy Steve.    Thanks Steve.

The idea is,  get there plenty early,  at a predetermined,  relatively close parking area,  set up "camp",  eat, drink,  etc.   and generally discuss all things football.   The parking has to be far enough from the stadium to make it easier to get out of there when the game is over,  but not so far away that walking to the venue is a problem.

As we had arrived in plenty of time,  we got the choice spot over under the tree.  It was indeed sunny, and unless you had some sort of temporary shelter,  you'd fry.

As it is,  between that outing and golfing yesterday,  I think I just might have overdone it in the sunshine department.  Feeling a little "funky" today.

Friday golf outings have been a bit of a thing lately.  Just have to make the commitment to GO,  and plan your life around that,  otherwise the summer slips by,  and the clubs sit there in the closet.

We had a newby come out with us as well.  (Like we're not newby's!  Ha!)  That's one of my sisters-in-law Betty,  who had never golfed in her life.  She did make good contact a couple times.  I'm certainly not one to give lessons as,  truth be told,  I should be taking lessons,  but I suppose I might have given her a couple hints.   I could see that there was a very good chance that she could hurt herself,  judging by the way she was swinging the club.  Sure enough,  she was a bit sore later.  She's pretty tough though,  didn't complain.   But I've 'been there, and done that' in that department.
Not too much anymore,  so maybe I'm doing a couple things right?

Hey,  I actually parred one hole.  One.  That's it.

Meh, I guess that's it for a while.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Perfect weather for doing "stuff".

Talk about the temperature having a direct effect on ones energy level.  Sad to say,  anytime it's hot and humid,  I have the motivation of a sloth.  Which of course,  made working in a hot school somewhat problematic.  Glad those days are far behind me.
Anyway,  'nuff of that talk about that four letter word.  Don't want to get all maudlin.  Or whatever emotion it is that comes out when talking about wo...well,  let's not even mention it.

So,  Travelling Companion and I had a golf morning.  It wasn't much of an early morning,  since I had to call the club and tell them that we'd be late.   Our t-off was for 9:30,  and I noticed on my receipt that we did manage to at least pay our green fees at something like 9:37.   I don't like being "late" though,  and they appreciated that I called.  One needs to be civilized,  after all.
Getting ourselves out the door this morning was somewhat akin to "herding cats",  and don't get me wrong,  I was just as disconnected from any kind of time pressure as T.C.

Anyhoodle,  we had a wonderful time.  Never really broke a sweat,  except for maybe when we got back into the hot car.  Even then the temperature was something like 25ยบ (Celsius)  We've made plans to go back next week.  Providing of course,  that the weather cooperates.
That's the key.

Not easy taking pictures of the two of you,  and not totally cock it up.

T.C. is never overly thrilled at having her picture taken,  so the fact that she's slightly out of focus back there is probably a good thing.

Of course,  I sucked.  But hey,  like I said,  it was such an awesome morning,  it didn't really matter.  There are plenty more golf balls in the store.  Or at least that's the way I look at it.  It's best not to get too emotionally attached to any particular type or set of golf balls I find.  Much easier to handle to inevitable losses.   And trust me,  there were a few of those.


Moving on,  I managed to have the energy in the afternoon to get started on a pergola that my nephew and I are contemplating for my sister-in-law.

These are pieces I had left over from when we did the front of the house.  I'm in need of a third sixteen footer.  We'll fetch that tomorrow.   The posts and other cross members will be pressure treated,  but the main bits will be cedar.   Only because I actually had these three pieces on hand.  Initially we talked about making the whole thing from pressure treated,  and simply using an opaque stain to dress it up.  It's a colour that's very similar to what you see around the garage windows there.

That was the big excitement for today.  There's other "stuff".  I have pictures.  But maybe that'll be for another time.

Don't you just hate this sort of "click bait" thing I have going on?  A few words are better than none.  At least that's the story I'm going with.

Thanks for stopping by.


Thursday, August 18, 2016

Got the bug.

And by that I mean,  the Emerald Ash Borer.

And we're not alone.

The chap I hired to come today and cut down one of the "three sisters" as we used to call them,  has been way too busy cutting down ash trees as fast as folks can hire him.  Not his favourite thing to do, as he'd much prefer to be trimming trees and other general arboreal upkeep.

This was the beast.

 We estimate at around 75 years old,  which would have meant maybe another lifespan of 25+ years or so?  Needless to say,  no plans to cut it down in the foreseeable future.  Not my future anyway.

There was a certain amount of studying going on even before climbing the tree.  Best to try and plan these things while on the ground I suppose.

I took a mess of pictures,  but you know the drill.   Climb tree.  Tie off.  Cut chunks off.  Lower them to the ground.

Preferably without coming into contact with that expensive roof we had installed a couple years ago.

You can see all the dead branches.

Anyway,  that last pic is early afternoon,  and they're just about done.  Gonna miss the extra shade,  but that particular tree had this one dead branch that extended out precariously over the driveway.  No bueno.

Now,  in case you don't feel like reading that wiki article,  I'll show you first hand what these little buggers do.

More or less self explanatory.  They bore into the "cambium",  and literally choke the tree to death.  Seems to me the cambium sends nutrients down the tree from above, and ultimately makes a new growth ring.

Almost as bad as putting down an ageing pet.  Well, maybe not quite.  But we're seriously running out of trees around here.   Since we moved in over twenty years ago,  we've cut down five mature trees due to disease,  as well as another two as a result of poor location.  (Between the two houses.  Not good.)

So,  that's all I'll be 'sharing' today.   Last week we were in Vancouver.  Maybe I'll go on about that in a day or two.

Thanks for stopping by.