Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Art of Mowing

Mowing grass is a summer pastime up here!  Many people spend countless summer hours mowing their grass.  I am counted among them.  Most of us have very large plots of grass to mow and a rider is the required equipment unless you have absolutely nothing else to do with your time and want to push a mower... for days.

As I said in my last post, since we are blessed with 16 hours of daylight in the summer, things just grow!  The grass especially!  Throw in a little, or a lot, of rain and you get shaggy, deep grass in no time at all!  Mowing once a week just doesn't always cut it.  hehe!

Spending two to three hours riding circles or lines around the yard gives you a lot of time to think. "I wonder how people make those cool patterns in their yard when they mow?".
This is my best mowing pattern so far.....
 "After I finish I should go and weed those strawberries.".  "I'll bet everyone is on the beach relaxing and talking about interesting things, while I am riding back and forth in my yard.".  "I love how the yard looks right after it is mowed, so nice and neat!".  "Damn, this ground is bumpy!  My spine is not going to like me tonight!".

"I hate trees!  Well, I hate having to mow around them."

 "Maybe I should blog about this."  The list goes on and on with the profound thoughts that run through my head while I mow.  It's a vast wasteland in there people!  I don't dare listen to music while mowing because I am sure I would mow over something or the mower would start making funny noises and with my earbuds blasting away my favorite tunes I would never hear the broken parts churning around or notice the large tree branch I just captured.

Mowing attire is quite fetching.
There are sunglasses, to protect my eyes.  A hat to keep my hair out of my eyes and to protect my already sun damaged and wrinkled face.  Protective ear gear is a must!  I wear leather garden gloves because when you mow around all those damn trees there are many low hanging branches that seem to be right at face level and I have to give them the stiff arm, quickly duck so I don't get smacked in the face when they rebound, and keep mowing along.  I always wear the oldest pair of running shoes for the job as to keep my nice shoes nice. On this particular day I was forced to wear my husbands rain jacket because it was a bit cool, windy and spitty.  Turns out it was the perfect time to mow....I sure wasn't missing any quality beach time.

Choosing the right day to mow is certainly an art.  You don't want to mow right after it rains.  The results are large clumps of wet grass randomly strewn around the yard.  You really don't want to mow on a really hot day, you need to be on the beach instead.  If you mow too long after the last mowing the yard looks more like a hay field with clippings that could be baled.  Then again if you mow too soon after the last mowing you could just be wasting your valuable time.  Windy days are good to mow because the clippings can just blow around and disappear.  Cloudy days are good in my book.  My delicate skin does not bake in the sun and I don't feel like the rest of the world is having fun on the beach without me.  FOMO (fear of missing out) is at it's peak on sunny days.

It is a bit funny that we have a very tiny lawn at home and pay a very wonderful man every week to come and mow, edge and clean our yard.  A job that takes him all of 20 minutes.  Up here I spend 2 1/2 hours mowing the farmhouse yard and another 1 1/2 hours mowing three cottage lawns.  If only Oscar could come up and help!  The view up here is a lot better than the view from our yard at home, so I guess it is a good trade off.  Yeah, right!  I must say though that I take some strange pleasure in admiring a freshly mowed lawn.  Must be the same side of me that loves the look of freshly vacuumed carpets.  Like I said's a vast wasteland up there.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Walk

I went for a walk yesterday.  If I ever get bored up here, and it's not pouring rain, I should remember to go for a walk.  I headed towards our cottage, headphones on, a mission in mind.  At the end of my driveway I noticed my Neighbor Who Knows All was at the end of his driveway.  I stopped and we chatted about the day and I was on my way.

Along the way I was passed by a few people I know and they all waved and I waved back if I could tell who it was...I probably waved even if I didn't recognize them.  I enjoyed the breeze/wind and admired the flowers in the ditches.  I thought I'd take a detour and walk among the cottages instead of on the road.  I had not been down some of these lanes this summer so it seemed like a nice diversion.  I stopped for a few minutes and visited with the Pioneer Girls on their deck.  A little farther down the lane I chatted with Dave of All Trades, who was getting a ride home, in the golf cart with one of my Georgia cousins.  We talked about the lovely weather, when my other Georgia cousins are arriving and things going on at the farmhouse this year.

I continued up the lane and passed my favorite little cottage.  We did not chat, but I nodded to it with appreciation.  I checked out our beach to see if it still had sand after Arthur blew through here on Saturday.  We do!  This is going to be a lovely beach summer!  Plenty of room for kids to play, adults to sit in chairs and walking in for a swim won't be as treacherous as it has been!

Finding a place to put a beach chair last year was a challenge!

Plenty of room this year!

I stopped for a chat with Aunt Leadfoot and Aunt Chowder Queen on the deck of "the cottage".  I walked a little bit farther to my cottage to check and see if the renters were there.  They weren't, but I admired my cottage, because I just love my cottage.  I decided to walk home via the road.  When I got to the road my Friday Golf Friend stopped to get her mail...and chat with me (I assume).  We discussed the golf plans for the week and regaled my hole in one.  Yes, this is my cheesy way of working the fact that I made a hole in one into the blog!  I'm still in shock and think it is amazing that I made a hole in one on July 4, 2014, no less!  A day to remember.

The Friday Golf Girls...and witnesses!
I said "goodbye" to my friend and headed back home.  I walked most of the way home without visiting anyone until....a car pulled over in front of me and just stopped along the side of the road.  I wondered why they were there when I noticed I knew them.  It was Garlic Guy and his wife.  They had stopped to ask me if I wanted any garlic scapes.  "Of course!"  He said he'd bring them over that night or the next day and he and his wife headed on their way.

All of this, on one walk, in an effort to get my 3 points on the "stupid health challenge". Well, maybe it isn't stupid, but I am, for agreeing to participate in it while I'm up at the shore....or maybe I was smart.  I'm not sure my level of activity was up to par with all the stopping and visiting but I was walking and standing for a very long time.

So....if I ever get bored or lonely up here I will just go for a walk.  No wonder I love it up here!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

An Ode to June

I began the month of June in Nova Scotia and I'm ending the month in Nova Scotia.  If I sit back and look at the interim I should be exhausted!  June isn't even one of the long months like August that usually feels like it has 40 days.  If you are one of those people who must always measure progress, accomplishments and things you "got done", then June was a good month.  I did not realize it until I just sat down here and tried to figure out what to write in one last post in June.  Maybe if we all took time to reflect and look back at where we have been and what we have done we would be a bit less critical of ourselves and realize... we rock!  

The month began up here on our week of planting the garden and opening the farmhouse.  The weather was a bit cool.  Even the horses were wearing sweaters!  Spring was way behind in it's arrival.  We stayed inside and began the sun porch renovation/improvement.
Sunroom "before"
One month later, bring on the sunsets and parties!

When we were here at the beginning of the month the weather was cool, very cool, unusually cool, cool enough to have a fire in the stove every day.  TJ managed to plant his garden with hopes it would warm up and his "babies" would grow.  The 16+ hours of daylight up here at this time of year definitely helped.  Surprisingly, even when it is cool and a bit wet at times... things just grow!

The garden at the beginning of June
and at the end of June!
I picked my first lettuce today....salad tomorrow!
On a different note, during the month of June we witnessed many Catholic sacraments.  We were present for two Baptisms at church up here on June 1.  When we were back in Houston for a mere two weeks, we witnessed a First Communion and the Anointing of the Sick.  Our first Sunday back here there were two Confirmations at mass.  All we need is to see someone become a priest and receive Holy Orders and then listen in on a Reconciliation and we will be done.  I'm just going to count the wedding on May 3 in the sacrament collection.  That is a lot of churchgoing in one month!  Believe me, we need all we can get!

In the month of June we traveled through 16 states and 2 provinces.  TJ gets extra credit for 2 more provinces since he went on several business trips in June.  Like I said, if I think about it....we should be exhausted!
Right around mile number 2300 in the month of June.....

Another measure of a month comes in the form of food.  I told TJ that when we were back in Houston for those two weeks I was going to make a point of eating out every night.  This was in preparation of my 3 months of restaurant deprivation while I'm up here at the farmhouse.  There just aren't any restaurants nearby.  I do exaggerate a bit because I'm sure I will eventually leave my small world up here and venture out a little and maybe even dine at a restaurant or two while I'm away but not with the regularity I eat out at home.  Of course, this never results in my waistline shrinking, go figure!  Suffice it to say we ate out most nights during our couple of weeks in Houston in June.  We also had several good meals on the road with our friends and family.
My birthday dinner night!
We also celebrated our anniversary and Father's Day in June!

Speaking about food.....wasn't I?   After all of that eating out at restaurants and driving through 16 states I needed to reel in the food and drink consumption a bit.  I once again agreed to join Marathon Girl in a Health Challenge for four weeks.  When I say Amherst Shore is not a place to limit your food and drink I mean it!  The word challenge takes on a whole new meaning up here.  Today alone, I passed up rows of homemade cookies, cakes, breads, cinnamon rolls, and candies without tasting or buying one!  This is not right!  I don't get homemade goods like this at home....ever!  Plus, we have 16+hours of daylight which equals at least 4 meals and countless evening hours for cocktails doesn't it?  What can I say, I am a sucker for a challenge....or a glutton for punishment!

June saw the longest day of the year and the farthest point along the horizon for our sunsets.  Since we were here in December and saw the farthest the sun sets in winter and now the farthest in summer , as a sunset junkie,  this a check on my bucket list!
June sunset

December sunset
Yes, I know.  Awesome...right?!

So, June has been a very long, full month.  I had planned to post this June, but it never got finished so here it is July already!  I guess if June can't have the most days in it at least it can have the most hours of daylight in those days so we can enjoy June to the max!  I certainly did!

start of June
after a month of 16+ hours of sun!
Happy Canada Day!
Her beauty never ceases to amaze me!

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