Monday, after a holiday

Monday, 6 July 2020

The Monday after a holiday can be the worst. Or it can be the best. Perhaps it can be OK. You get to decide.

I decided to just go with it. I typically roll out of bed in a cheerful mood and for those days I’m less cheery, I still find the light in life.

Turns out I didn’t miss a lot at work. There weren’t a ton of emails to catch up on and I have a couple of projects to work on, so that’s a bonus. Nothing I like less than having nothing to do and creating “make work” projects.

Today’s photo is actually one I took yesterday but saved it for today because it’s a special one…are you ready for it?! The Baltimore Oriole is back in town!

Baltimore Oriole, perched on an orange.
Photo of the day, 6 Jul 2020 ©WQuinn

I thought I saw him yesterday morning, a blur of yellow flying into the old pine tree. Too big to be an American goldfinch. Then later in the day, I could hear his song, followed by his Mrs. at the feeder. I cut up an orange, put it out and sure enough he popped in for a snack. He was back again today for more.

I cut up another orange, replaced the one on the feeder (seen in photo) and put one on the patio table (where I had it last year). I looked out about a half hour later and the orange on the table was missing…I’m thinking squirrels! Oh well, at least someone is getting a dose of vitamin C.

Here’s another one from the bird garden of the oriole enjoying the orange, followed by tonight’s sunset. Enjoy and have a wonderful night!

A Summery Saturday

Saturday, 4 July 2020

Happy Independence Day to my American friends!

I started my post early this evening, getting a jump start on my night. I was sitting inside, recalling a beautiful sunny summer day. This is how I started it…

…Today was one of those text book perfect days. I seem to be having a lot of those lately and I’m beyond grateful! There was no humidity today. None! 29°C felt like 29°C. What a relief after a week of hot humid weather. Add to that a nice breeze and, in my books, it was a perfect summer day. I did a few things around the yard then grabbed my Kobo and sat under the shade of the Manitoba maple tree until my eyes got heavy and my bed called for an afternoon nap. What a day!

I put it aside to have dinner, planning to get back to it at bed time, as usual.

Then I saw the full moon rising. I stepped outside to watch it play hide and seek behind some clouds. So mysterious and beautiful. The fireflies were dancing, the bull frogs serenading, and there was no chill to the air, nor humidity. It was quite literally the perfect night for sleeping outside!

My tent was already set up, I inflated a mattress, grabbed my bedding and pillow and my camera.

After a photoshoot with the moon and the river, I sat on the river bank to finish my blog and listen to the frogs and all the other night sounds.

I took this video to share the serenading frogs with you. It’s more for listening than viewing. I hope you enjoy

Photo of the day, 4 Jul 2020 ©WQuinn

It’s Friday!

Friday, 3 July 2020

What a beautiful hot day. I didn’t see a lot of it as I spent most of the morning chatting with Amazon and on the phone with my bank.

I popped into my bank account this morning and noticed a charge from Amazon for $90. I don’t use this bank account for Amazon purchases so I knew immediately something was off.

Chatting with an Amazon rep, they were able to confirm the purchase wasn’t made from my Amazon account and were able to identify what was purchased. The issue has been escalated to the fraud department.

Then I called my bank – TD – and waited 25 minutes to speak to someone. For future reference, when you’re given the option to choose the type of music you prefer to listen to, choose none. The quality of the music is so bad, it just greats on the nerves. The TD rep was awesome and escalated my call to another department where that rep took all the details then cancelled my visa debit card and submitted the claim to the fraud department.

I changed my login info and my password and I vow to stop using credit cards with Amazon. I’m going to only use gift cards from now on. Now I sit and wait to see the outcome.

I had a birthday dinner party to prepare for and lost a good chunk of time handling this. Oh well. I quickly got into party mode, preparing salads, appetizer tray and prepping the veggies. When everyone arrived, my nephew joined me in the kitchen and we worked together very well! Wine in hand, great tunes playing in the background, seasoning meat and veggies…it was a hoot! I was excited to use some garlic and lemon balm from my garden to season the veggies.

The meal was delicious and the birthday cake, which my nephew made, was soooo good. It has become his signature cake. Here’s a photo of it.

Jamie’s signature cake ©WQuinn 2020

When the sun started to go down, the humidity lifted a little, making it a little more bearable. I watered the gardens, then Mom and I sat on the veranda for a bit, watching the near full moon rise. It was beautiful!

A collection of photos I took this evening as I was watering the gardens. Clockwise beginning at the top left: Watering my vegetable/herb garden, flowers blooming from the “humming bird” seeds I planted in March; tonight’s sunset, watching the moon rise on the veranda.

Photo of the day, watching the moon rise, ©WQuinn 2020

The day after…

Thursday, 2 July 2020

I’m so confused about what day it is. These holidays in the middle of the week should be banned. All holidays should fall on a Monday. Just kidding, but wouldn’t it be nice?!

We’re having my sister-in-law over Friday for dinner to celebrate her birthday. I thought I had four days to prepare. Ha. Joke is on me. Tomorrow is Friday!

This COVID-19 isolation/hibernation is screwing with my memory. I really must find a way to differentiate between the days. I know I said this before, but it bears repeating. I need to keep reminding myself. I think I need to do something like Holland America does on its ships:

“Thursday” written on a carpet on the MS Koningsdam ship elevator. ©WQuinn 2020

We went to Gatineau this morning to run a few errands. Errands that took us into several stores. I was flabbergasted at the differences in safety protocols.

Canadian Tire: We started at Canadian Tire. I was concerned by the amount of cars in the parking lot, the people coming and going and no line up to enter, but we decided to give it a go. Two large bottles of hand sanitizer greeted us outside the entrance. Hands sanitized, we entered the store where we were greeted by an employee. I went straight for the carts, Mom found a roll of disposable towels and hand sanitizer. She rubbed down the handle of the cart. There were no arrows on the floor to guide us. We were on our own and it was a free-for-all. People everywhere. Lots of them. There didn’t seem to be a limit to how many people were allowed in the store at the same time. Everywhere you turned, you bumped into someone. We wore face masks. Most people I met didn’t. I eventually had to take it off because I found I was becoming ill with it on for long periods of time. Both of us had enough and made our way to the line up, which snaked through the store. There were dots on the floor indicating 2 metres apart, but the line turned down the wrong aisle where there were no dots. The dots didn’t seem to work though as people mostly ignored them, at least the woman ahead of me and the two men behind me. I did notice more people wearing masks as I was in line and had time to people watch, but the majority were not. It is not mandatory in QC to wear masks indoors, or anywhere for that matter. All in all, I found Canadian Tire to be way too relaxed with social distancing measures.

Canadian Tire parking lot.
Photo of the day, 2 Jul 2020 ©WQuinn

Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ): Next was the SAQ. We drove by a couple stores that had long lines, one had at least 15 people and decided on the SAQ on Montée Paiement. A man arrived a few seconds before us so we only had to wait a minute or two before we were welcomed into the store. There was an employee who explained the process…wash your hands with sanitizer, carts were mandatory (and he washed it down for us), one person in an aisle (we were considered one unit but had to stay together). It was like playing a game…I want to go to that aisle but someone is already there. How can I position myself to be the next in line to get there. We found everything we wanted then checked out. The SAQ was by far one of the best experiences I have had during this entire COVID pandemic.

SAQ had our favourite wine (Voga – Italy) in stock so we stocked up on it and Bailys. I don’t plan on visiting another SAQ for sometime…maybe for a Christmas run? ©WQuinn 2020

Dollarama and IGA: Next came Dollarama for me and IGA for Mom. Dollarama first: A spray bottle was waiting for me as I arrived, although it wasn’t full, I did manage to get a little out of it. I didn’t notice the arrows on the floor indicating which way to enter an aisle until I had gone down a couple of aisles the wrong way! Leave it to me! It wasn’t overly busy. The sign on the door indicated 40 people were allowed in the store at the same time. There may have been 10 or so. The cashes had plexiglass between the cashier and the customer and the cashiers were wearing face shields. It was an OK experience but I wonder if they have staff to monitor how many people are coming in and keeping the hand sanitizer container full.

Mom said the IGA experience was amazing. A store employee advised hand sanitizing was a must, then offered a cart which they just cleaned. The employee was monitoring the number of people in the store and stopped people from entering until someone exited. I think she mentioned arrows on the floor.

SAQ and IGA were clear winners and we will be back!

Yellow wildflowers. Just because we could all use a little yellow in our lives! 😉