Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Some of you may have noticed that I've removed all my ads. I started this blog for me. It was a place to express myself. To share my story and listen to yours.

What started off as a Caregiving blog evolved into gardening, grandchildren, poetry, birthdays, family, and seasons.

I've decided to re-name this blog, or actually start up a new one, called Changes with the Seasons. I was tired of seeing google ads about oxygen concentrators, miracle cures for COPD, and whatever other nasty stuff they wanted to advertise.

Blog Her Ads was much better to work with. At least there were people to contact when you needed a problem sorted out. The Blog Her Ad network was full of creative, fun, regular people. They wanted regular posts (of course, otherwise, why advertise?).

But now that it's summer, I don't want to post when somebody else insists. I will post when I feel like it. After all, this is why I started blogging in the first place. To be my own boss. To sit at the computer for hours if I want or leave it when I'm too involved in other activities. And my good blogger buddies understand. They have a life too.

So COPD Caregiving is NOT for wimps will evolve into Changes with the Seasons. The focus will not be on hubby. Oh, I will still blog about our life together, as I continue to grow and learn and try to accept that which I cannot change.

As a matter of fact, the focus changed a long time ago. I wanted a happier blog, and began to branch out into other topics. I even learned to post my digital-camera-challenged pics without embarassment. One day I will take the time to buy a better camera and learn more about photography.

So on to a new blog... I hope to see all of you there!

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Yesterday, we had new garage doors installed. Our old wooden ones had to go. I was sick and tired of prying up the bottom of the door in winter when it was freezing cold. The wooden doors actually froze to the garage floor. I would then stick a shovel underneath and jump on the handle to break the ice and pop the door open. Enough is enough! Time for some new ones.

Details - do you notice details? Well I don't. I never noticed that the doors did not have handles on the outside. Hmmm. One of our garage doors has the automatic door opener, so you don't need an outside handle to open it up.

Our other garage door opens manually. Much better for the oxygen delivery man (we just leave it unlocked and he picks up the empty cylinders and brings us full ones), and much better if I want to take my bike out for a ride. We're down to one car, since hubby doesn't drive any more, so the second garage is for storage. I keep my bicycle in there, as well as gardening stuff, mops and buckets, garbage can, recycling bin, you get the picture. It's much easier to manually open this door, instead of using an electric door opener. I'd have to walk around the garden (or ride my bike) with the opener in my pocket, or I wouldn't get back in.

Doors were installed. Technicians (that's what the salesman called them), were almost ready to leave, when one of them said:

"You realize Ma'am that there is no handle on this door."

Well I'll be! I hadn't noticed. Now do I ask the most obvious question?

I did.

"How am I going to open it?"

"We can put a handle on it for you."

Oh, am I supposed to be impressed? Or did they think I really didn't want to open this brand new door?

They screwed on a suitable handle, which worked like it should.

"How do you like it, Ma'am?"

"Very nice, thank you."

Now really, it's just a door handle. You'd think this guy had given birth to it!!!

Curious, I went for a walk down our street. Sure enough, there were only 1 or 2 houses with crummy old wooden garage doors - with outside handles. The rest had new (or newer) garage doors with no outside handles. That meant only one thing - almost our whole street used automatic garage door openers. I never noticed.

We had a new bathroom shower installed last year. The old one was leaking and looking gross. I had tried caulking it, waiting 24 hours, using the hairdryer to dry it, ripping it out, caulking it all over again, waiting 36 hours, blow-drying it, changing the caulking material - all to no avail. It kept on leaking. Finally I'd had enough. I am certainly no handiman - or handiwoman for that matter. Not even close.

So I went to our local Home Hardware store. Picked out a reasonably priced shower stall and fixtures. I don't like these stores. Too intimidating. Too many nuts and bolts. Too much "guy stuff" (read: stuff I don't understand, and don't really want to).

A week or so later, our shower arrived along with the "technician". He spent all day installing it. It looked fine. I was asked not to use it for 24 hours. That was alright with me, as I really really wanted that caulking to stick.

I waited 48 hours just to be sure. Turned the handle to the proper water temperature. Then pushed it in towards the wall, so I wouldn't get a deluge on my head. I don't like a full stream of water. Usually about half strength is fine with me. It didn't budge. I pushed as hard as I could. It still didn't move. So, I twisted and turned. Pulled and pushed. Nothing. Gave up and had a full-throttle shower. What happened to water conservation? Don't they now make flush toilets using only a fraction of the usual amount of water to avoid wasting our precious resources?

The next morning I tried again. Still could not slow that shower down! So back to Home Hardware I went. I checked out all the "newer" shower hardware and found that you could not adjust any of them. One setting. That's it. Period.

Now I ask you - when you go to buy a tap or a faucet, do you ask if you can adjust the water flow? And when you order garage doors, do you ask if they come with a handle so you can open them?

Either I shop at the wrong places, or our world is getting crazier!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Summer Solstice

Happy, Happy,

Summer!!! Flowers are in full bloom. Days are long. Sun is shining between the rainclouds. BBQ's are cooking.

I had the most splendid day! Spent the morning in the garden. It was rather gloomy and cloudy; even rained a tiny bit, but by afternoon the clouds parted and the sun shone!

I made a cup of tea, and walked around my yard, thanking the flowers, birds, bees and Mother Earth for all of her gifts. This Solstice weekend was to be a "heal our planet" weekend, whereby each person would choose their own way of sending healing energy around the globe.

Later in the afternoon, after Hubby's nap, we sat quietly outside, taking in the sights and sounds of this glorious summer day. Hubby had his book, but I was watching. There is a nest of red-capped chickadees in our hedge and I was wondering when the babies would be leaving their nests to learn how to fly. I did not want to miss this.

I had been so careful not to disturb their nest by being curious. Oh, it was hard. I did so want to peek inside and take pics for this blog. But one other year, I frightened a bird away. She abandoned her nest and I've felt badly ever since.

Luck must have been shining down on us this first day of summer, for it wasn't long before I heard baby "cheeps". At first I couldn't distinguish these sounds from other birds, but soon pinpointed their location as coming from the hedge. Next I saw some fluttery movements within the hedge. Hmmm, this couldn't possibly be adult birds. They usually fly right out of the hedge, not within.

I watched and waited some more. They must have been getting the hang of things, for they started venturing outside of the hedge and on to the lawn, the nearby trees, and the other hedges. Fascinated, we continued to watch those tiny fledglings hopping from hedge to hedge as they tested their wings. One little bird bravely flew to the oak tree. It clung to the trunk in fear, afraid to let go. The mother flew to a branch and then to the ground to encourage Junior, but he just flapped his wings and dug in deeper. Then a wiley chipmunk ran up the tree towards Baby. That was the "push" Baby needed to fly away.

Father's Day, Summer Solstice, and baby birds leaving the nest. It was a glorious day! I hope you all had a nice day too!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Strange dwellings

What a strange place for a spider to live.......on top of an outdoor table........connecting flower pots.
This see-through sticky material ...... looks almost like saran wrap.

How can a spider live in such an odd-looking house? No floor, no door, no windows, no walls. And everything open, for all to see.

This little caterpillar is in the middle of spinning his cocoon. He chose such a strange the little space between the back door and the brick wall....right on top of another caterpillar's cocoon.

It didn't take long before his cocoon was made. Now they're both asleep.....until?? I don't know how long this process is likely to take. Maybe some of my fellow gardeners (especially the ones who like bugs) will tell me.
I 've drawn circles around the two cocoons, so you can see them. Strange place for a house........right above the doorbell!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Garden fun

Mrs. Tiggywinkle and her baby keep watch over my herb gardens. Somebody's been nibbling my purple basil in the night! I suspect it must be naughty chipmunks. Do you think they flavour their salads with it? Or brew basil tea?
I started potting up some herbs for Computer Son last year. Now it's become a tradition. He enjoys cooking and likes to use fresh herbs in his creations. Looks like a sneaky groundhog helped himself to the parsley (on the left side of the container). That's why all the herbs have ended up on the table. I hope he (or she) doesn't know how to climb.
Sweet pansies......I wonder if they're having a sing-along. Or maybe they're just sunbathing. Whatever.... I think they're happier in a container instead of in the ground. They usually dry up and die about mid-summer; probably due to our sandy soil and fierce sun.
Snapdragons are so pretty, but I haven't had much luck, until I tried this variety last year. I like the way they cascade gracefully down the sides of the pot. And the blooms last all summer.
And last, but not least, our resident faerie, having a private consultation with another pot of pansies. I wonder who is telling the secrets and who is listening?? Happy gardening everyone!
Enjoy the weekend!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Seeds of discovery

I was tidying up the yard the other day. Branches had blown off some trees and scattered all over. Usually these branches are dead, but this one still had leaves on it. I started cutting it up into smaller pieces.

My mind was miles away. I was thinking about whether or not to get some planting in before lunch, when I noticed these tiny bumps on the branches.

Those are funny-looking lumps, I wonder if the tree is sick....
Wait a minute, those funny-looking lumps look like.... baby acorns! This tree isn't's pregnant!
Here's a closer look.

So that's how acorns are made! As you can see, there are lots and lots of teeny, tiny acorns on each branch. The oak leaves (they look wilted in the pic) are on the tips of the branches. They must reach up towards the sunlight for nourishment to feed their babies. Or to protect them from the strong rays of the sun.

We have plenty of oak trees in our yard and that means an abundance of acorns. They don't show up until late summer or early fall. But at this time of year, I don't give them a thought. Anyway, the trees are so high, I've never had the opportunity to observe baby acorns in the making.

I was thrilled with this discovery, so I shared it with Hubby. Don't know why we've never noticed this before.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Backyard Fun

The more pictures I take, the harder it is to get them right. Does that make sense? No, probably not.
You'd think the more practice I get, the better...... Jasmine, look at Grandma...
No, not down at your water toy....up at the camera.

Smile, Nathan. Oops, just missed it.

Yes, that's the sun shining up there, but please show me your sweet smile, once more.....

I took about 20 pics that day. And these are the best. Oh well.

At least the day was warm and sunny and we spent the morning playing in the backyard.

I did not realize how difficult it is to photograph small children. The only pics I took of my own children were for special occasions. And probably my parents took those, as I was busy with cake and ice cream or unwrapping presents.

Enjoy the nice weather while it's here, everyone. Have a good weekend!