Happy Day

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

I had the realization today that I’m happy. I’m content. I like living where I am and I am grateful to be here. Even in these hot, hazy, humid days and nights.

My dream to have a hobby farm is still very real and something I am working towards. Because, as much as I like living here and making it my own, it’s missing a few components key to my dream. Such as being zoned agriculture. We’re currently zoned “Garden Centre”. Go figure. I’m living on the land my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents farmed and yet, we can’t have animals. The second component is the busy highway in front of the house. Constant noise. Third, the neighbours are too close for comfort. I would like to live on a farm that is surrounded by nature and not houses, to be able to walk 500 feet in any direction and not see people.

As I write this, I’m sipping on a herbal tea blend from my herbal tea garden. A wish fulfilled, I have finally grown my own herbal tea garden. So far the chamomile and lemon balm are doing amazing. The mints, on the other hand, are having a tough year. They were amazing the last few years but this summer, they are slow to start. I have tried starting a new batch indoors during the spring but with no luck. Could be something with the seeds. So I may have to be happy with chamomile and lemon tea this winter.

I tried a new chicken recipe today and cooked in on the BBQ. My first time cooking anything on the BBQ that wasn’t a hamburger or steak. I must say, it turned out exceptionally well and I may try a few other things now too!

On the COVID front, I went into the office for the first time since March. I got the go ahead to go in to pick up a few things. I wanted my docking station and keyboard, and my yellow crocs. Now, I could have lived without the Crocs, but seeing as I was there for the docking station and keyboard… I was a little nervous, perhaps apprehensive but it was for not. It went very smoothly from the moment I entered the building and checked in with the commissionaire to when I said good bye on my way out. Signs were everywhere, indicating one way lanes, only two people per elevator, etc.

Several photos from my garden today: The butterfly garden, corn and beans in the vegetable garden are coming along very well, Malva Zebrina – which I grew from seed – is gorgeous, and the Baltimore Oriole was back this afternoon. Can you see the goldenfinch coming in to the feeder just above the oriole?

Dukes is waiting to come in this morning! We close the curtains in the morning because the sun is so strong, the heat flows in heating up the kitchen. Dukes wasn’t impressed.

Duke waiting to be let in this morning. Photo of the day, 7 Jul 2020 ©WQuinn

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! 😉

Summery Saturday

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Happy birthday 🎈 to my sweet niece!!!

I had a wonderful sleep-in this morning. A late start to my day but I did manage to check several things off my growing to-do list.

There’s nothing quite like physical activity to shift your mood, put things in perspective, or get those endorphins going and it feels great! Although I’m a little stiff and sore in spots, I feel amazing and believe I’ll have no problems falling to sleep tonight…one of the reasons for an early post 😉

It’s been a couple of weeks since things in Quebec have been opened and, for a while there, it felt like we were done with Covid-19. Almost like we’ve given up and gone back to the way things used to be. Until yesterday. When I heard about the outbreak in Kingston, ON…a city that until recently, had no cases. It’s like going back in time, to March, when the first cases of Covid-19 hit Canada. It scared me back into reality and reminded me to take this seriously and step back again. I need these reminders.

Earlier today, I took a break from the humidity by sitting in the shade of a tree, drinking water and watching the clouds drift by….ahhhh, summer!

Break time, sitting in shade
Photo of the day, 27 Jun 2020 ©WQuinn

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Sunday, 7 June 2020

156/366 Photo of the day, 7 Jun 2020 ©WQuinn

I awoke around 4 am to a choir of robins greeting the morning. One of my favourite and most beautiful sounds. I enjoyed it, then promptly fell back to sleep.

Mom, Zola (my canine niece) and I were jolted from a sound sleep by a loud tinny pecking sound…a woodpecker pecking on the tin roof of our cabin!

Now, as I type this, a loon is calling out. It’s 11 pm. The stars were peeking out, the north sky still lit, as we sat around the fire, laughing, eating s’mores and sharing stories.

The camp fire. ©WQuinn 2020

Throughout the weekend, Covid would creep in, we’d talk about it, then go about our day. So much has changed since March when the isolation began. As restrictions lift and more things return to normal, anxiety is high. The consensus was a wait and see how things play out in the next few weeks. If infections don’t rise, then we’ll try getting out more. I plan on self isolating for the next 14 days to be safe. But, all in all, I’m so glad I came. I really needed to be with my family again and have a bit of normalcy, even if for only 48 hours.